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Vitran Canada ordered to hold union election

In April 2012, the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) ordered a certification vote at the Vaughan, Ontario branch of the international transportation company, Vitran Express Canada.

Teamsters Local 938 had asked the board to reinstate a fired worker involved in the organizing campaign. Vitran responded by saying she was on probation and was fired for "performance issues." The Teamsters asked the board to certify the union by order, rather than by representation vote, given the firing and an memo to employees about unionization.

The Teamsters and Vitran negotiated a deal where the board would be asked to order a representation vote of all 133 employees of the Vaughan Vitran Express location, including the sales representatives the union had sought to exclude from the bargaining unit. The unfair labour practice allegations would be water under the bridge. The board did not order the reinstatement of the fired worker.

While this a small group in Vitran's nearly 5,000 workers, a successful union vote would make it easier for the Teamsters to organize other sections of the transportation multinational. Vitran posted a loss in the last quarter of 2011 and its sales have improved in Canada and the United States this year. The company's weaker performance may be an issue in the union election.

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