Canada Goose was founded in 1957 by Sam Tick, a Polish-Jewish immigrant to Canada. Sam believed in treating his workers well, and they created high quality garments in a country that’s still 30% unionized to this day.
By 2013, Bain Capital – a Boston-based investment firm – bought Canada Goose away from the family. Since then, Bain has exported the U.S. model of union busting to Canada. Bain Capital is alleged to be persistent in their mistreatment of workers. One woman describes conditions as worse than she experienced in Qatar and Dubai.
These types of business practices are despicable. No worker – whether in Dubai, Canada, or the United States – should be padlocked into their worksite. No worker should be intimidated with the threat of violence in the workplace. No worker should be denied their right to organize and form a union. This is why we took up the mission of standing up for Canada Goose workers here in Boston. We went to Bain Capital’s office to raise the voices of working people. This is worker solidarity in action – creating a global community of people who lift each other up.
What is Solidarity?
Last month’s newsletter discussed power and how it can be used to create change. When we use our power collectively we can do so much more than we can do alone. This is solidarity.
We all must stand together as working people to create the change that will make each of our lives better.
Please take a moment to watch this video on solidarity.
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We’ve all been through a difficult year. We truly hope that everyone remains safe and healthy into the future.
As a reminder, everyone is eligible to receive their vaccine – you too! COVID-19 vaccines are free with no insurance needed. The process is quick, painless, and brings us closer to returning to normal. Please protect yourself, your family, and your community as soon as you can.
Join your fellow union members in our weekly phone bank for Boston Mayoral candidate Michelle Wu! We will be talking with Boston voters about Michelle Wu’s vision for for our community. No experience phone banking? No problem! We will begin with a quick training.
A member of the negotiating committee brought to our attention that RCS was overcharging UNITE HERE Local 919 members on the employee contribution of their health insurance. The union grieved the issue and WON! We secured backpay for everyone who was impacted, and delivered money back into their pockets.
CONNECTICUT – Foxwoods Resort & Casino
Despite 27 years of dedicated employment with no prior discipline, Foxwoods accused Liz Bouchard of theft and dishonesty. Foxwoods then chose to ignore the clear processes outlined in our Collective Bargaining Agreement by firing Liz.
After nine months with no pay and no unemployment benefits, an arbitrator reinstated Liz to her position and ordered Foxwoods to pay her several months’ back pay. The arbitrator found that management’s decision to fire Liz “was based on a flawed investigation from its inception.”
We will continue to monitor Foxwoods’ actions and ensure that each and every one of our members’ rights are protected.
The American Prospect
On Wednesday, a coalition of Massachusetts labor groups is set to rally outside Bain Capital headquarters in downtown Boston to protest the anti-union campaign waged by Canada Goose management. The UNITE HERE New England Joint Board, Greater Boston Labor Council, Boston DSA, Harvard Graduate Students Union, and Massachusetts Jobs with Justice have joined together to draw attention to the ongoing Workers United unionization effort at Canada Goose factories, and the intimidation tactics they say have targeted the largely female immigrant workforce in Manitoba, where the company’s factories are located.
“Bain Capital has its headquarters in Boston, and at UNITE HERE we are firm believers that the labor movement has to stand in solidarity no matter where you are in the world. We can’t support working people in silos,” Mitchell Fallon, an organizer with the union’s New England Joint Board told the Prospect. “When Bain Capital attacks working people in Canada, that’s something nobody should stand for.”
The New York Times
On Wednesday, a few dozen labor activists picketed the Boston headquarters of Bain Capital, the private equity firm that owns and controls Canada Goose, hoping to pressure the jacket maker to endorse a union at three plants in Winnipeg.
Nearly 30 percent of Canadian workers are union members, compared with about 11 percent of American workers. Mr. Sinclair said he felt that Canada Goose was essentially importing an American model of fighting unions.
“The way they treat us is not how Canadians treat each other,” he said. “Management doesn’t really understand what Canada is about.”
The New England Joint Board Podcast:
On the next episode of the New England Joint Board Podcast we’ll be speaking with legislators and leaders who are creating Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits for workers.