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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.


Bureau of International Labor Affairs

ILAB Press Release: Labor Department Ends Review of Freedom of Association Complaint Against Canada [04/21/1999]

For more information call: (202) 219-6373 ext. 4

The labor groups which submitted a NAFTA-related complaint against Canada have asked the Labor Department's National Administrative Office to end its review of the case and to close the file. The complaint, submitted under the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation, alleged violations of Canadian labor law on freedom of association and union organizing involving a McDonald's franchise in St.-Hubert, Quebec.

The labor groups informed the U.S. National Administrative Office that they reached an agreement with the Government of Quebec and were no longer requesting the NAO's consideration of the complaint. Instead, the issues raised in the submission concerning sudden and anti-union motivated plant closings will be studied by a Quebec provincial government council. This agreement was reached after review by the U.S. NAO and consultations with the Canadian NAO and Quebec government. Accordingly, the U.S. NAO has formally ended its review.

"We are pleased that the labor groups involved and the government of Quebec have agreed on a plan to address this freedom of association issue," Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman said. "Freedom of association is one of the labor principles the U.S., Canada and Mexico endorsed in the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation, the labor side agreement to NAFTA. We believe that our discussions with the Quebec government and the labor groups were useful in clarifying the issues. This is further indication that the process under the NAFTA labor side agreement works."

The original submission was filed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters Canada, the Quebec Federation of Labor, Teamsters Local 973, and the International Labor Rights Fund. It was accepted for review by the U.S. NAO on Dec. 18, 1998 and was under consideration. The U.S. NAO met with representatives of the Canadian NAO, the Quebec government, the submitting organizations, and employers to discuss the case and relevant labor law and practices in early April.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Bureau of International Labor Affairs
April 21, 1999
Contact: David Roberts
Phone Number