The BC Labour Relations Board has rejected a proposed bargaining unit in a Wal-Mart store because it cut across classification lines.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union applied for certification of a bargaining unit consisting of only the automotive workers at the Wal-Mart store in Cranbrook. Although it cut across classification lines – because it excluded employees with similar positions outside the automotive department – the Board initially found the unit to be appropriate. Wal-Mart applied for reconsideration of this decision, arguing that the original panel’s decision was inconsistent with the principles established by the Board in Island Medical Laboratories for determining the appropriateness of a bargaining unit.
A Reconsideration Panel of the Board agreed with Wal-Mart, confirming the IML principle that bargaining units should not cut across classification lines. The Board concluded that the automotive workers were not sufficiently distinct from other employees in the store to justify certifying a bargaining unit that included only the automotive workers, and accordingly rejected the Union’s proposed bargaining unit.