For immediate release
Contact: Richard Minter, International Organizing Director
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Canada Goose workers voted overwhelmingly to affiliate with Workers United Canada Council today. Of the 886 votes cast, 758, or 86% voted in favor of joining the union. This marks the largest private sector victory for manufacturing workers in 30 years, and is a culmination of a three-year effort by the workers, most of whom are immigrant women sewers.
The union campaign was led by a diverse and large committee of Canada Goose workers who have been spending hours after work talking to their co-workers about forming their own local union. This victory will result in 1200 garment workers having representation and a voice in their workplace.
“Workers United Canada Council’s late Director, Barry Fowlie would have been so proud of all the workers at Canada Goose,” said Lynne Fox, International President of Workers United. “Barry fought so hard for the health, welfare and safety of the workers.” Fowlie passed away in mid-November.
Canada Goose, a luxury jacket maker, has operated the plant in Winnipeg since 2011. In 2013, Bain Capital purchased a majority stake in the company. Students, community leaders, and immigrant rights group had pressed Canada Goose and Bain to respect the workers’ right to organize a union.
Despite years of an adversarial relationship with the union in Winnipeg, Canada Goose opted to take a more socially justifiable stance regarding respecting its workers’ right to organize a union. Richard Minter, International Organizing Director for Workers United said, "I want to congratulate the workers of Canada Goose for this amazing victory. I also want to salute the company. No employer wants a union but Canada Goose management stayed neutral and allowed the workers the right to exercise their democratic vote.”
Alelie Sanvictores, a sewer who has worked for the company for five years, and who is a leader of the union effort said, "This is a wonderful moment for our workers. We work so hard to make this company a success. Now we feel we have a real voice in the company to share in that success."
Workers United, an SEIU affiliate, represents 10,000 workers across Canada. In the United States and Canada, Workers United represents more than 86,000 workers in the apparel, laundry, food service, hospitality, non-profits, warehouse distribution and manufacturing industries. The organization is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA.