>From alt.society.labor-unions newsgroup
The head line on the cover of Thursday, August 20th's
Vancouver Province newspaper of Vancouver, BC
reads "Small Fries win Big Mac Attack". The article
reads as follows (copyright, I'm sure, of The Vancouver
By Jack Keating
Staff Reporter .
Unionized workers at McDonald's in Squamish soon will
be serving up North America's first McUnion burger.
After a landmark struggle, the Squamish outlet of the world s
most famous hamburger chain became North America's first
unionized McDonald's yesterday when the B.C. Labor Rela-
tions Board certified the Canadian Auto Workers to repre-
sent the 83 workers at McDonald's.
"This is a historic moment. This is like organizing the first
IWA local in 1936," said Mark Leier, a professor of history at
Simon Fraser University.
"It tells people that it's possible
to form a union at McDonald's.
You don't just have to sit back and
take $7-an-hour, short shifts with
juggling around. There is some-
thing you can do about this."
The deal became official when
McDonald's and the union signed
a memorandum of agreement
after close to six hours of media-
tion with Brian Foley and Lisa
Hansen of the LRB.
Last month, the union signed up
more than the required 55 per
cent of the employees to be rec-
ognized as the bargaining unit.
It was an emotional scene as the
union celebrated with Jennifer
Wiebe, 17, and Tessa Lowinger
16, the high-school students who
were instrumental in leading the
"I think it's a historic day for the
labor movement in Canada " said
Roger Crowther, national repre-
sentative for the CAW.
"It's the first operating McDon-
ald's in North America that is cer-
tified by any labor relations
Union officials do not believe
McDonald's will shut down the
restaurant as was done by a fran-
chise in Montreal this past Feb-
ruary just as its employees were
to be unionized.
"They've issued a statement
that they will not be closing this
McDonald's restaurant. And we
accept that in good faith," said
He estimated a collective agree-
ment would take about four to six
The union has dropped charges
of unfair labor practices against
McDonald's as part of the certifi-
It had accused the company of
"gross manipulation" of payroll
records by hiring 28 employees
when it learned about the union
Jennifer and Tessa, who said the
fight for respect and dignity for
workers at McDonald's was their
primary motive, were overjoyed
at the LRB ruling.
"I'm really glad we've finally got
our certification." said Tessa
"You've just got to stick up for
what you believe in."
Said Jennifer: "I'm glad that this
has gone through because now
we're going to get the respect that
"We have lots of support from
people in Squamish.''
This article was followed up by this:
"Lawyer: How can kids sign contract?"
By Alan Ferguson
Children under 19 can't sign for
a bank loan in B.C. without their
parents' consent. So how can they
sign a binding union contract?
In general law, "we just don't
allow children [under age 19] to
make decisions that have binding
legal consequences without the
supervision and consent of a
responsible adult," Vancouver
labor lawyer Don Jordan said yes-
"Why there would be an excep-
tion for a member of a trade union
is a mystery to me. There are few
commitments you can make of a
more binding nature."
Jordan was reacting to yester-
day's ruling by the Labor Rela-
tions Board paving the way for the
first unionized McDonald's in
Canada. The battle of the McDon-
ald's in Squamish was triggered
by employees Tessa Lowinger, 16,
and Jennifer Wiebe, 17.
"If it was my child who was
being unfairly treated, I'd Sign,"
He also wondered whether
unionized children are capable of
making a decision to strike in sup-
port of a wage demand.
"And what are the conse-
quences for people with their life's
savings invested in the business?
That doesn't sound good to me."
I may have to try one of those new McCrap^H^H^H^HWraps
yet, if this keeps up.
IBEW 230, IBTeamsters 213, BCGEU