Precedent-setting win for Members at Rose of Sharon
The employees at the Rose of Sharon Korean Long Term Care Home joined the Union about six and a half years ago. After the workers’ victory, the employer went into court-appointed receivership.
The court assigned the firm Deloitte and Touche as the receiver. Despite receiving a Notice to Bargain from the Union, Deloitte and Touche refused to acknowledge any obligation to negotiate a collective agreement with the employees. As a result, UFCW Local 175 took up legal action against Deloitte and Touche at the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB).
The Union charged the firm with a failure to begin contract negotiations. And recently, the Union received a landmark first-of-its-kind decision on the case.
Deloitte argued that the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act protected the firm against being deemed a successor employer. Therefore, they argued, they were not obligated to negotiate an agreement even though they ran the Rose of Sharon for the last six and a half years.
The Union argued that under the Ontario Labour Relations Act (OLRA) Deloitte was responsible for negotiating a contract, especially considering they had been operating the Home business as usual. The OLRB decided in favour of the Union and determined Deloitte as a sucessor employer.
That means, they have to negotiate a collective agreement with the UFCW members employed at the Home.
This case sets precedent for the Rose of Sharon employees and UFCW. The Union looks forward to finally being able to provide justice to these members and seeing them through the negotiation of a first collective agreement.
Pictured here is EK (right) who works at the Rose of Sharon, with her Union Rep Mona Bailey. EK was an interpreter when needed, a liason for the employees, and an important source of information. She provided details on the day-to-day operations of the Home to Mona and Region 2 Director John Di Nardo. Her contributions, commitment to her co-workers and community, and persistence were invaluable. Thank you EK!