Canadian Plastics

PolyCello unionization votes still uncounted

Workers at Amherst, N.S.-based flexographic printer PolyCello have voted on whether they want to unionize their wor...

June 16, 2008   Canadian Plastics

Workers at Amherst, N.S.-based flexographic printer PolyCello have voted on whether they want to unionize their workplace, but the votes have not been counted. The company and representatives from Teamsters Local 927 found that some ineligible employees had voted for union certification, and votes won’t be counted until the company and the union reach a settlement.

Last week, Teamsters Canada said that more than 190 PolyCello workers would join their ranks, but noted that the decision was still pending before the province’s Ministry of Labour.

“The employees are keen to improve their dissatisfactory relations with the management of the flexography printing company and so approached us to represent them,” said local union president Charles Chalmers.

Chalmers also took the opportunity to criticize Amherst mayor Jerry Hallee’s comments about the certification.

The push to unionize came about after Teamsters was able to sign up more than 40 per cent of the company’s employees. Mayor Hallee, who ran the company before taking his seat as mayor, said PolyCello was the city’s largest employer and expressed concerns about what a union would mean for the company.

“I’m very concerned about this because they are one of the biggest employers in town,” he said in May. “If we lose even 25 per cent of that, that’s a heck of a lot of jobs.”

Teamsters’ Chalmers criticized the comments, calling them “inappropriate.”

“Mayor Hallee’s comments were not only inappropriate, but they were also utterly disrespectful to both PolyCello’s workers and the union members who serve in his office,” he said. “By opposing unionization, what is the mayor insinuating about the good judgment and integrity of his own employees?”

PolyCello has not publicly commented on the issue of unionization, but workers reportedly received a letter from company president and CEO Stephen Emmerson, saying that a union would reduce the company’s competitiveness.

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