Paid leave a hot topic for Canadian retailers

Written by By Gabriela Geselowitz, CNN

Workers at a privately-owned clothing and leather company in Winnipeg, Manitoba, have voted to unionize with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

The employees at Hudson’s Bay Company, a department store wholesaler, have been working under non-standard hours contracts for nearly two years, according to the union. They’d been asking the company to take voluntary paid leave days, which the company refused.

Hudson’s Bay representatives have not replied to a request for comment.

The vote comes at a time when many major North American retailers are turning to their workers to strike profitability. In January, Costco employees in Washington state voted to unionize, garnering 68% approval from those who participated in the referendum.

Earlier this year, Walmart workers in San Francisco and Massachusetts won representation votes, which now give workers the ability to collectively bargain and negotiate terms of their employment, like workers are able to do at Costco and Whole Foods.

At Target, six workers successfully unionized with the United Food and Commercial Workers union last September.

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