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Just Us Coffee Co-op – Balancing fair trade and worker rights

On Sunday, April 28, 2013, there was a demonstration outside the Just Us Coffee’s office in Grand Pré to support two former employees of an outlet in Halifax, Nova Scotia, who claim that the fair trade company fired them for attempting to organize their co-workers. The workers wanted to form a union under Local 2 of the Service Employees International Union. At its 50th annual convention in Greenwich, Kings County on May 1, the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees voted to contribute $1,000 to support the two workers and the Service Employees Union.

The two employees want their job back and the opportunity to try to form a union. The company’s spokesperson stated that Just Us Coffee wants to be a model in Nova Scotia to see how unions and co-ops can work together.

Our real goal is to be able to give young people experience with a business so when they go out in the real world, they are bringing these value to their new workplace.”

The workers have filed a grievance with the Labour Relations Board of Nova Scotia and there is now talk of possible mediation. The Company continues to claim that the circumstances that led to the two people leaving the company had nothing to do with unions or union busting.

Amery Boyer
The Human Element, just a different way to manage

Amery Boyer

Amery Boyer, CHRP, MBA is a Human Resources professional with extensive experience in human resources, staffing and employee relations for both the private and public sectors and various levels of governments. She was a contributing editor of The Human Resources Advisor, Atlantic edition published by First Reference. Read more
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