First Canadian H and M workers to organize are now members of Local 175

October 7, 2011 at 5:39pm

Fifty H&M Sales Associates at Square One mall in Mississauga are the newest members of UFCW Local 175.

The October 6th vote makes them the first H&M workers in Canada to join a Union. Locals 175 & 633 Organizers, who had a hand from the UFCW National organizing staff during this campaign, were on hand for the secret ballot certification vote.

“We hope to have the OLRB [Ontario Labour Relations Board] certify them quickly,” explains Organizing Coordinator Rick Wauhkonen. “These workers stood strong to hold up their rights and make their workplace a better place to work at. Hopefully negotiations for their first contract can begin for these workers soon.”

These new union members – consisting of cashiers, merchandisers and shelf stockers – join about 1,400 other H&M sales associates in New York City – who are also part of the UFCW/RWDSU – as well as thousands of organized H&M workers in Europe. The workers at the New York City stores recently negotiated their first collective agreement.

The organizing team was comprised of Local 175 organizers Amy Tran and Mike Mattioli as well as national representatives Kevin Shimmin and Alex Banaag.

H&M employs 87,000 people around the world with about 2,300 retail locations across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America, with more than 50 of those in Canada.