Canadian Wal-Mart workers win first contract, get $2.49 raise

I couldn't think of a more fitting Labor day story:

The very first in the entire North American continent, Their pay has went up $2.50 an hour

From 8/22/08 at The PSL webpage:
Canadian Wal-Mart workers win contract
By: Stefanie Fisher

In brief

On Aug. 15, a Canadian Wal-Mart located in Gatineau, Quebec, was forced to honor a three-year contract for employees working in its lube and tire department. It is the only Wal-Mart in North America to have a union contract in place.

The workers, organized by the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada, will see an increase in their starting wages from $8.40 to $10.89 per hour. Although there are still 200 non-union workers at the same location, the workers have scored an important victory in the struggle to organize the world’s largest retailer.

This is not the first time the anti-union giant has been ordered to honor union contracts. In 2000, 11 meat cutters working at a Texas Wal-Mart won union recognition. Shortly thereafter Wal-Mart, Inc., eliminated the positions in 180 stores in six states, claiming lack of profits.

Wal-Mart recently reported profits of $3.45 billion—up 17 percent from $2.95 billion a year ago.

On this Labor Day 2008, please take a moment to think of the men and women who had fought so valiantly for the lifestyle that our labor can bring us today. Do not disrespect their fight, never cross a picket line and always be willing to help a fellow worker, regardless of affiliation, race, gender or creed, because if workers unite we can once again change the world. Never forget that our labor creates their wealth.

In solidarity,
Joe

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