Almost nine in ten Canada Goose employees who work at the company’s Winnipeg production plant voted to unionize.
Eighty-six percent of some 1,200 garment workers voted to join the Workers United Canada Council, the union said on Wednesday.
“This is the biggest private sector victory for workers in the manufacturing sector in over 30 years and is the culmination of a three-year effort by workers, most of whom are immigrant women seamstresses,” says a press release from the WUCC.
Canada Goose is known for its luxury winter jackets and has been operating in Winnipeg for a decade.
Bain Capital acquired a controlling stake in the company in 2013 and opened a second plant in Winnipeg in 2015. The company has two facilities in Toronto that have been unionized for nearly three decades, said Rabia Syed, a local organizer of the WUCC.
Salaries and fair representation were all factors in the last vote, Syed said.
“Workers are coming together in solidarity because they have had enough,” said Syed.
The workers alleged that there had been problematic layoffs and disciplinary action, and challenged being paid based on the number of parts they produce, or a piece-rate system, which some considered it unfair.
Sewing machine operator Alelie Sanvictories worked for Canada Goose in Winnipeg for five years and participated in the vote on the decision.
Sanvictories said some workers arrived early while others took longer to come due to fears unionization could cause them to lose their jobs.
“They now know that with the union we have a real voice, we have someone to fight for our rights.”
WUCC International Organization Director Richard Minter congratulated the employees and the company.
“Canada Goose management has given workers the right to exercise their democratic vote,” Minter said in a statement.
“This is a wonderful time for our workers,” Sanvictores said in the WUCC statement. “We are working so hard to make this business a success. Now we feel that we have a real voice in the business to share this success.”
A spokesperson for Canada Goose said the company’s goal has always been to support staff and “respect their right to determine their own representation.”
“We welcome Workers United as the union representative of our employees in our manufacturing plants in Winnipeg and look forward to working alongside them as we have in Scarborough and Toronto for decades,” the door said Thursday. -speak in a press release.
Workers United represents more than 86,000 workers in the garment, laundry, hotel, restaurant, warehouse distribution, nonprofit, and manufacturing industries in the United States and the United States. Canada, including 10,000 in Canada.