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Thread: Question about CLAC union and need advice

  1. #1

    Default Question about CLAC union and need advice

    Hi there,

    I was wondering if anyone here has dealt with the CLAC union?
    Last edited by jadzia2000; 01-08-2017 at 07:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    I am not surprised. CLAC is not really a union in the traditional sense. They are well known for being very employer-friendly.

  3. #3

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    You won't win, and any Large firm will have more access to legal resource than you will want to pay for to take this to court and for what reason? What would you or your daughter really get out of it? Its best to move on and even erase this one from the job history CV. There won't be a reference here for sure.

    These large conglomerates don't play nice these days. Haven't you been checking the Sears saga lately?

    Labor standards here are a joke. Companies do basically what they want. Especially large companies.

    Was your daughter still on probation? This depending on employment can be anywhere from 3,6, 12mths. In which case there's negligible recourse in reality. You mention she was a part time employee so this would be casual employment. Few if any minimal shift standards would apply. I would imagine she was classed as temp/casual as almost every junior staff in such stores are.

    No protection I am aware of for cancelled shifts. Standards are vague on how much notice is required. If an employee shows up for a shift its 3hrs pay mandated.


    TBH it sounds like your daughter was being somewhat strident for a junior employee and some of the terms you used sound fishy to me for instance "to find out what was really going on" and then reporting it to the Union immediately. This speaks to challenging the supervisory hierarchy of the store. Most employers wouldn't take kindly to that level of going beyond the chain of command so readily and by a temp or casual staff. This is textbook just because you can go to a Union to report something doesn't mean its in your best interests to do so. Even moreso in an economy where an employer can fire your daughter and call up any of the 500 or so applications they have had online.

    Its ordinary for the food service industry to give senior staff shifts when there is a shortage of shifts. Almost any grocer would engage in this. It was explained to your daughter what was happening and why. She chose to bring it to the union of her own accord thereby by passing the chain of command.

    You didn't mention if there is proof that the CLAC disclosed your daughter in name. Perhaps the employee just immediately recognized who it was. That they fired your daughter and another employee suggests they thought both were involved in speaking with the union.

    Operatively speaking worker rights have really eroded. If a person happens to be still protected by a union consider yourself lucky. That you did "way worse" and didn't get fired is a curious comment, it seems falsely empowered, and no doubt your daughter has learned this from you good, or bad.

    Just being completely honest with the feedback. Part of the problem here, I'm guessing, is that you are a professional, in a relatively strong Union, and you are probably a valued employer overall within that work place and Union. You are also an adult with I'm assuming some tenure, expertise etc. You are making an error in comparing that situation to a student temp part timer picking up some shifts at a grocer which is one step removed from McJob type employment in this day and age. "Union" or no union.
    Last edited by Replacement; 30-07-2017 at 08:20 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  4. #4

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    As for removing this from her CV after one year experience seems a waste. I think she should include this in her resume as experience and can use a co-worker for a reference. The manager said not to use them as a reference but that's ok. It's the principal and it would be nice for david to knock down Goliath.


    And for the record, I'm not in a union. I was once in a union when I was about her age, and we were fully protected by our representative. But then again this was back in the 90s where in some cases employment in Alberta was starting to get stable.

    I understand it's just a retail job and I get it. I'm looking at the principal.
    Last edited by jadzia2000; 01-08-2017 at 07:08 PM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    TBH it sounds like your daughter was being somewhat strident for a junior employee and some of the terms you used sound fishy to me for instance "to find out what was really going on" and then reporting it to the Union immediately. This speaks to challenging the supervisory hierarchy of the store. Most employers wouldn't take kindly to that level of going beyond the chain of command so readily and by a temp or casual staff. This is textbook just because you can go to a Union to report something doesn't mean its in your best interests to do so. Even moreso in an economy where an employer can fire your daughter and call up any of the 500 or so applications they have had online.
    So you're saying that she shouldn't find out why her shifts for an entire week were cancelled? Why would you say she was being controversial about it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AAAAE View Post
    I am not surprised. CLAC is not really a union in the traditional sense. They are well known for being very employer-friendly.
    Depends who you talk to. Many union employees are basically indoctrinated to believe that CLAC is pretty much satan itself. Most of the major unions despise CLAC because they don't take nearly as confrontational an approach in collective bargaining as they do. That doesn't necessarily mean they're "employer-friendly".

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jadzia2000 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    TBH it sounds like your daughter was being somewhat strident for a junior employee and some of the terms you used sound fishy to me for instance "to find out what was really going on" and then reporting it to the Union immediately. This speaks to challenging the supervisory hierarchy of the store. Most employers wouldn't take kindly to that level of going beyond the chain of command so readily and by a temp or casual staff. This is textbook just because you can go to a Union to report something doesn't mean its in your best interests to do so. Even moreso in an economy where an employer can fire your daughter and call up any of the 500 or so applications they have had online.
    So you're saying that she shouldn't find out why her shifts for an entire week were cancelled? Why would you say she was being controversial about it?
    Thanks btw for considering the feedback. I sincerely meant it to be helpful, if not easy to take to heart. Sometimes we teach our children unintended things. I don't at all fault you for that and would instead applaud it. However, you still have an ideal idea about how the world and particularly the work world exists, that it is just, impartial, that good decisions are always made. I've certainly witnessed, been aware of countless work conditions and decisions that avail me of any of that.

    You say the principal is more important. Not in every case. Sometimes to be prudent, and pragmatic is the better alternative. For instance in this case your daughter DID find out why her shifts were taken away. This could have ended there and with either a hope that further shifts are granted and completed or in seeking other employment while one still has a healthy relationship left with superiors. Your daughter made a potentially unproductive decision. She went over the chain of command, to the union, and while for all we know that the Supervisors thought the matter was resolved. There is often even org policy detailing the order in which you need to go about an alleged dispute or grievance. Its almost always referred to as grievance procedure. Some companies will even get you to sign forms indicating that you know and understand the grievance procedure. This is for your, and the companies benefit. I doubt it stipulates go to the Union prior to taking all steps to resolve this with immediate supervisors.

    I singled out the phrase "Find out what was really going on" I'm a Narrative analyst. Its one of my approaches in counseling. The term as phrased in essence suggests that your daughter voiced, or displayed doubt in her supervisors, suspected them of impropriety, and so on. Even if she is vindicated in this she has entered a no persons land of caustic and strained relationship with superiors. Theres tons of examples of employees that have justification, that are right, that can win a grievance, but lose the job. Whether that be now or by some trumped up reason down the road.

    Boiled down by going to the Union your daughter essentially lost her job AND one year of reference. She suffered the worst result. She may not even be EI eligible if the employer indicates she was just cause terminated. In the current work world its arguably better to leave a position when one suspects superiors are unethical rather than to fight for that position in an unhealthy work environment. That's the pragmatic option. That way at least you have the reference albeit for what its worth.

    Let me know if I am being unclear.

    Foe ones own health as well sometimes better to just walk away rather than dealing with longterm processes like trying to win some damages through challenging the termination which can take a long long time. It would alternately usually be possible to negotiate a reference letter of sorts from a tertiary party within the company. If not from someone at the store itself from someone from HR and it is at this point OK to convey the circumstance to HR and further to obtaining an HR written brief reference letter detailing her job duties, basic performance etc. Your daughter should quote her performance reviews to the HR staff and don't accept the first letter written unless it is helpful. HR will usually go the extra mile to write a decent reference letter but your daughter needs to let them know carefully what she feels should be in that letter. That salvages something for your daughter and so that her one year of employment will not be a waste.

    As a last point you shouldn't have identified the specific store and location yourself for reasons I won't fully elaborate on here.

    cheers
    Last edited by Replacement; 31-07-2017 at 11:53 AM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  8. #8

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    Separate post, but just to elucidate one point. Just because CLAC on first analysis say they think it could be a case of wrongful termination is something that is commonly stated, but wherein its not clear what benefit derives from this. A return to the work place at this point would be unproductive for all parties concerned. A settlement of severance could be negotiated given that your daughter passed her probationary period but is not written in stone how much it could include. I don't know that I would hope for a wrongful dismissal court award in this instance. This could land substantially in he said/she said hearsay. No doubt the supervisors are not so inept that they have not documented on their end with their side of the story even if it is concocted.

    Unions of course want to offer the appearance that they are effective, that the processes work, that they can act with efficacy on the part of employees. Such things as terms like "we feel this is not wrongful dismissal" naturally spring from that. However what ensues later, and what legal and other support occurs later is often less clear as these cases progress. I'll stop short of calling it lip service but its not far removed from it. CLAC may only be doling out false hope for your daughter.

    I won't term this advice, but if this were me I would negotiate a reference, negotiate a severance pay out, and move on.
    Last edited by Replacement; 31-07-2017 at 11:50 AM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  9. #9

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    I think your daughter should just move on from this. It's doubtful she will every get to know who said what and when, probably not even worth knowing at this point. I realize she may have been hard done by but it's not worth the hassle. She should also not mention it negatively on her social media sites as future employers may look at them. Like Replacement said, if she can get a reference from H.R. or a co-worker she can use it for her next job. If she is asked in her next interview about why she left she should just say she was not getting enough hours and leave it at that. If you and her are real ticked off just make it a point to never shop at their store(s) again. Who knows, one door closes and the next one opens and it could end up being even better for her.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  10. #10

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    I haven't looked for work in a long time and I know things have changed regarding the privacy laws concerning employment references but I still wonder if they would still call on them.
    Last edited by jadzia2000; 01-08-2017 at 07:09 PM.

  11. #11

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    I do feel for your daughter. I also think the manager is being a bit heavy handed in telling her not to use them as a reference. As an adult and a professional he should look at her work over the last year and give a reference from that and not base it on what happened this last week. Seems like he/she is being more spiteful instead of managerial. If she gets a reference from a co-worker a future employer might just use that reference and not go any further in that company. If she has done volunteer work etc. she maybe able to get references from there. Sure she can give CLAC the go-ahead to pursue the matter but know doubt it will be a drawn out process and by then your daughter would have moved on. I know of someone who got wrongfully dismissed from a job they had held for quite some time and it was a well paying job. It took about two years for them to get exonerated and their job back but the toil it took on them was horrific. Maybe one thing she could do is get a hold of a regional manager for the store(s) and explain the situation to him/her. If they can see things from her point of view they may transfer her to another store. About her mentioning it on social media. Well, if she is running the organization down even in a passive aggressive way it will not look too good if she wants her job back. As for the Union, I realize they are there for the workers rights and if CLAC takes up the cause that's all well and good, but if it takes months to get a result chances are your daughter may have landed a way better job anyway. I was in a big union myself for a considerably length of time and never once did I have to go to them but I was glad they were there.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  12. #12

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    ^^With all due respect you just disclosed it was you that told your daughter to go to the CLAC. I doubt you know what the grievance procedure of the company is or even cared what it is. You gave your daughter bad advice, ultimately, and it cost her. A situation that was about lost hours for a week is now about lost job, period. If I dare say some of your this should happen or that should happen is probably you feeling bad that this backfired and wanting a different end result.

    Your daughter, or you, are not entirely wrong. You just assumed more rights empowerment than there really is. In writing there is some, in actual practice, less. Your daughter is expendable, theres little recourse. As I mentioned earlier the Sears events should really tell everybody how poor employees protection is these days.

    Again get a letter from HR, NOT the branch. Its clearly past the point of any help from the branch. Next your daughter could be eligible for some severance. Not a lot, and they may try to not give any because of the termination. Not sure what their policy is. Severance pay is a grey area to begin with.

    3 Critical mistakes occurred here that are generally recognized (by employers) as egregious acts;

    1) Improper resolution of disputes within the work place and policies always stipulate that every reasonable attempt is made to settle this in the work place, this clearly wasn't done.

    2) Ignoring protocol, hierarchy chains of command and immediately going beyond that to speak to the union. I liberally stated this was a strident action. It was a borderline militant stance. Such action would be a hot button almost anywhere.

    3)Going public on social media with the name and branch of the facility and further not respecting the reasonable privacy of all involved. You may feel as if your daughters rights were impinged, but you duly responded in kind pointing out all the details here including some speculation at what had occurred. Gemini is right saying its a mistake to have discussed the work place on social media. You can discuss the specifics, get feedback, by all means but don't provide information that can easily identify branch and people involved INCLUDING your daughter. Why would anybody do that?

    4)Escalation. Both sides escalated this situation. For what benefit?

    Without realizing it the 4 above are a nightmare of improper resolution for any company which only results in bad blood, recrimination, and all parties suffering.
    Policy exists so that, hopefully, it will be followed, by all, to the benefit of all parties and failing that its this nature of situation that ensues. It matters not whether the perception is that the employer failed in following standards more than the employee. I see here that both parties were in all likelihood having some blame. In such cases its quite often the subordinate that suffers.
    Last edited by Replacement; 31-07-2017 at 07:23 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    I do feel for your daughter. I also think the manager is being a bit heavy handed in telling her not to use them as a reference. As an adult and a professional he should look at her work over the last year and give a reference from that and not base it on what happened this last week. Seems like he/she is being more spiteful instead of managerial. If she gets a reference from a co-worker a future employer might just use that reference and not go any further in that company. If she has done volunteer work etc. she maybe able to get references from there. Sure she can give CLAC the go-ahead to pursue the matter but know doubt it will be a drawn out process and by then your daughter would have moved on. I know of someone who got wrongfully dismissed from a job they had held for quite some time and it was a well paying job. It took about two years for them to get exonerated and their job back but the toil it took on them was horrific. Maybe one thing she could do is get a hold of a regional manager for the store(s) and explain the situation to him/her. If they can see things from her point of view they may transfer her to another store. About her mentioning it on social media. Well, if she is running the organization down even in a passive aggressive way it will not look too good if she wants her job back. As for the Union, I realize they are there for the workers rights and if CLAC takes up the cause that's all well and good, but if it takes months to get a result chances are your daughter may have landed a way better job anyway. I was in a big union myself for a considerably length of time and never once did I have to go to them but I was glad they were there.
    Solid advice for the most part. I've seen people as well take two years to try to get a job back at which point the company at the first available opportunity started to detail performance issues on the employer upon their return so that they could have just cause in terminating the same. Really a lot of work places have that kind of tenuous security. Job today, gone tomorrow.

    I'm not convinced the daughter would start at a new branch and not have any of this follow her. The mere mention of having worked at another branch. (REQUIRED) by such multi branch companies will result in some checks. Companies can even do unauthorized checks and especially within the same company.

    One thing I'm noting is that the years of experience required, the background, and the quality and skills in supervision are declining somewhat. So that now theres less experience, less qualification, less background education in those occupying the supervisory jobs. I actually had to take supervisory training courses from Faculty of Extension, U of A, paid for by my employer, which I just considered a building block asset. I've similarly taken HR courses from Faculty of Extension(again paid for by employer). Such courses teach you how to avoid common pitfalls, without which its fly on the seat of everbodies pants mistakes being made. The latter really describes a lot of work places in present day. It is unfortunate.
    Last edited by Replacement; 31-07-2017 at 07:07 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  14. #14

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    She's going to university in the fall so she has other opportunities to go with including co-op programs.

    If she decides not to put Save on as her previous employer, she can still use the excuse of not working because she was focusing on school.

    A lot of students are doing that and that's ok.


    Cheers!
    Last edited by jadzia2000; 01-08-2017 at 07:09 PM.

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