Settlement awarded to Gingrich Woodcraft workers
October 2, 2015 - A settlement was reached at the Ontario Labour Relations Board for the wrongfully terminated employees of Gingrich Woodcraft, the custom cabinetry-making factory in Devlin, Ont. that was closed by its owners in August when workers at the factory voted to unionize and join Unifor. The owners had claimed their religious beliefs precluded them from working with a union.
By Andrew Macklin
“I am pleased to announce we’ve negotiated a settlement that includes a significant monetary compensation package for the Gingrich Woodcraft workers, and ensures excellent prospects for their re-employment,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s National President.
Highlights of the deal
- As part of the settlement, the company will pay its employees 35 weeks wages at their regular hours and rate, retroactive to August 17, 2015.
- Gingrich Woodcraft Inc has told the board and Unifor that it is in negotiations to sell the business as a going concern and it said a sale was expected to take place shortly.
- As part of the sale, any purchaser will be informed that Unifor is the certified bargaining agent for employees at the plant, and that the purchaser is obliged to rehire the former employees of Gingrich Woodcraft Inc.
- The company must also endorse the skills and abilities of its former employees to any purchaser.
- Gingrich Woodcraft also agreed that if any purchaser pays its workers less than their original wage, their rate of pay will be topped up to their regular rate for a period of 35 weeks.
The Labour Board will also be issuing a declaration that the company’s actions violated the Ontario Labour Relations Act.