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PolyCello employees opt against unionizing

The employees of Amherst, N.S.-based flexible packager PolyCello have decided against unionizing their workplace.


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June 23, 2008 by Canadian Plastics

The employees of Amherst, N.S.-based flexible packager PolyCello have decided against unionizing their workplace.

Eight-six per cent of the company’s 350 employees voted against joining Teamsters Local Union 927.

"We are pleased with this outcome, and happy that we can continue moving forward together with our employees, in a non-union environment," said Stephen Emmerson, PolyCello’s president and CEO. “It says a lot about the decency of our employees, and their commitment to our customers, that we remained productive as a team and that the tone of the discourse remained open, honest and measured."

“We are, of course, disappointed,” said Charles Chalmers, president of Local Union 927. “At the same time, we are proud that the employees had the courage to bring public attention to the challenges they face in the workplace and approach us with their concerns.”

The push to unionize came about after Teamsters was able to sign up more than 40 per cent of the company’s employees.

According to Chalmers, the employees’ decision was based in part on the influence of Amherst mayor Jerry Hallee, the former general manager of PollyCello. In May, Hallee described PolyCello as the city’s largest employer and expressed concerns about what a union would mean for the company, and for the tight-knit community. “I’m very concerned about this because they are one of the biggest employers in town,” he said at the time. “If we lose even 25 per cent of that, that’s a heck of a lot of jobs.”

“As the former general manager of PolyCello, Jerry Hallee undoubtedly has the interests of the business at heart,” says Chalmers. “As such, I continue to question whether he can have an impartial view of how best to protect the rights and meet the needs of employees.”

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