Canada's Unifor union says it filed complaints against Gingrich Woodcraft, alleging the Devlin, Ontario wood components manufacturer is engaging in a lock out to keep its workers from forming a union. Leon Gingrich closed his firm August 17 following an August 12 voted by 69 percent of the company's 25 employees that resulted voting to unionize.

Owner Leon Gingrich said in a letter to customers that his religious beliefes require him to 'live peaceably with all men,' and not to use force to gain what we want or for what is require to succeed. Our decision in view of developments to date was to stop production of wood products at Devlin, ON, effective Aug 17, 2015. All production employment was terminated."

Unifor leader Stephen Boon, who announced the original Gingrich Woodcraft voting results August 12, told Canada's CBC News that the strike is the equivalent of a lockout. CBC reports that the Ontario Labor Relations Board will hold a hearing on the case Monday, August 24.

Here is the original ruling by the Ontario Labor Relations Board approving the August 12 union vote.


Unifor, the Canadian union under which employees at Unifor, Applicant v Gingrich Woodcraft Inc., Responding Party

BEFORE:  Roslyn McGilvery, Vice‑Chair   DECISION OF THE BOARD:  August 10, 2015 Ontario Labor Relations Board
1. This is an application for certification filed under the Labour Relations Act, 1995, S.O. 1995, c.1, as amended (the “Act”).
2. The Registrar has certified that the applicant had been found to be a trade union in an earlier proceeding under the Act.  Therefore, having regard to the Registrar’s certificate and section 113 of the Act, the Board finds that the applicant is a trade union within the meaning of section 1(1) of the Act.
3. It appears to the Board on an examination of only the information provided in the application and the information and membership evidence filed by the applicant (see section 8(3) of the Act), that not less than 40% of the individuals in the bargaining unit proposed in the application for certification were members of the union at the time the application was made.
4. The responding party disputes the applicant’s estimate of the number of employees in the applicant’s proposed bargaining unit.  Furthermore, the responding party proposes a different bargaining unit than that proposed by the applicant and it contends that the applicant’s bargaining unit could not be appropriate.  It gives notice under section 8.1 of the Act.
5. The Board finds that the bargaining unit described in the application could be appropriate.  After comparing the membership evidence provided by the applicant against the information provided by the responding party, the Board finds that the numerical difference between the parties is not significant.  The applicant has established sufficient membership support in its proposed bargaining unit for the purposes of obtaining a representation vote and having that vote counted.  In any event, the responding party agreed that the ballots cast in the representation vote should be counted.
6. The Board directs that a representation vote be taken of the individuals in the following voting constituency:
all employees of Gingrich Woodcraft Inc. working in the Rainy River District save and except supervisors, persons above the rank of supervisor, office and clerical employees.
7. The vote will be held on August 12, 2015.  Other vote arrangements will be as determined by the Registrar and set out on the attached “Notice of Vote”.
8. All individuals who had an employment relationship with the responding party in the voting constituency on August 5, 2015, the certification application filing date, are eligible to vote.  Employees having an employment relationship on August 5, 2015, the certification application filing date, include employees who were not at work on that date, so long as there is a reasonable expectation of their return to employment.
9. There may be a dispute between the parties as to whether or not the position(s) of purchaser and shipper/receiver should be included in the bargaining unit.  If any individual holding such a position wishes to cast a ballot, the individual shall identify himself or herself as occupying a disputed position and such individual shall then be entitled to cast a ballot.  Any ballot cast by such an individual shall be segregated and not counted until the Board so orders or the parties agree.
10. Voters will be asked to indicate whether or not they wish to be represented by the applicant in their employment relations with the responding party.
11. The responding party is directed to post copies of this decision and of the “Notice of Vote” adjacent to each of the posted copies of the “Notice to Employees of Application for Certification”.  These copies must remain posted for 45 business days.
12.              Any party or person who wishes to make representations to the Board about any issue remaining in dispute which relates to the application for certification, including any matters relating to the representation vote, must file a detailed statement of representations with the Board and deliver it to the other parties, so that it is received by the Board within five days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays on which the Board is closed) of the date on which the vote is taken.  Representations with respect to any status disputes must be made in accordance with the directions provided in Information Bulletin No. 4: Status Disputes in Certification Applications (Non‑Construction). See the Ontario Labor Relations Board filing regarding the Gingrich Woodcraft vote.

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