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Vice-chair cites lack of proof of representation or ratification at MSA
General Hospital

For the second time in two weeks, the BC Labour Relations Board has ruled
that the Industrial Wood and Allied Workers (IWA) of Canada, Local 1-
3567, has failed to provide evidence that it represents front-line health
care workers in the hospital sector.

For reasons similar to its May 20 rejection of the IWAs claim to
represent Aramark workers in the Lower Mainland, the LRB yesterday
declared the IWAs partnership agreement with Sodexho at Abbotsfords MSA
General Hospital null and void.

The Hospital Employees Union had applied under Section 18 (1) of the
Labour Relations Code, with signed membership evidence, to represent the
Sodexho workers. Yesterdays ruling quashes the IWA and Sodexhos
objection to that application.

LRB vice-chair Jan OBrien said she was unable to conclude that a
reasonable ratification process had taken place or that a majority of
employees had freely chosen the IWA as their exclusive bargaining agent.
Bald assertions are not sufficient to establish that the objection to
the HEUs certification application should be considered, said
OBrien. The IWA has not provided any particulars setting out when,
where and how the ratification took place.

Sodexho argued that its deduction and remittance of dues to the IWA, and
the fact it deals with the IWA as the exclusive bargaining agent of the
employees, was sufficient evidence of a collective bargaining

But the LRB ruling stated that such details do not establish on a prima
facie basis that the IWA is actually representative of the employees.
Furthermore, the employer confirmed that the collective agreement was
signed before any employees were hired.

HEU expects the ballots to be counted immediately. If they are not
counted by Tuesday June 8, the board will hold an afternoon meeting with
HEU and Sodexho. With majority support, the HEU will then serve notice to
commence bargaining with Sodexho.