13 January, 202286 per cent of the workers making luxury jackets Canada Goose in Canada, have voted to join IndustriALL affiliate, Workers United Canada Council. This is the largest private sector victory for manufacturing workers in Canada in 30 years and is a culmination of a three-year effort by the workers, most of whom are immigrant women sewers.
According to reports, there had been issues with terminations and discipline, and some workers felt the piece-rate system was unfair. The union win on 1 December last year will result in 1,200 garment workers at Canada Goose’s two factories having representation and a voice in their workplace.
"This is a wonderful moment for our workers. We work so hard to make this company a success. Now we feel we have a real voice in the company to share in that success,"
said Alelie Sanvictores, a sewer who has worked for the company for five years and is a leader of the union effort.
The organizing campaign was led by a diverse and large committee of Canada Goose workers who spent hours after work talking to their co-workers about forming their own local union. Students, community leaders, and immigrant rights group also joined the campaign to urge Canada Goose to respect workers’ right to organize.
"I want to congratulate the workers of Canada Goose for this amazing victory. I also want to salute the company. No employer wants a union but Canada Goose management stayed neutral and allowed the workers the right to exercise their democratic vote,"
said Richard Minter, international organizing director for Workers United.
Atle Høie, IndustriALL general secretary, says
“Organizing in the garment supply chain is a priority for IndustriALL and this great union win is a testament to our affiliates’ continuous efforts to fight for workers’ rights.”
Workers United, an SEIU affiliate, represents 10,000 workers across Canada. In the United States and Canada, Workers United represents more than 86,000 workers in the apparel, laundry, food service, hospitality, non-profits, warehouse distribution and manufacturing industries.
Edgar Romney, secretary treasurer of Workers United said,
"I want to congratulate the workers of Canada Goose for this amazing victory. It shows that when workers stand together to fight, we win!”
Photo: Canda Goose 2021