May 9, 2005. The following press release, issued by Quebecor World, Inc. and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, is a follow-up to position that NWU supported.
Quebecor World and the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have reached agreement on a new protocol concerning union organizing at the Company's non-union facilities in the United States.
In conformance with its existing and stated Company policy, Quebecor World has signed an agreement that it fully respects its employees' rights to form or join a union of their choice, that it will not interfere with or oppose those efforts and that they be able to do so free from harassment or intimidation from any party. In the agreement the Company also states that it fully respects the right of its employees to freedom of association and right to engage in collective bargaining.
The union, for its part, has committed to run its organizing efforts in a non-adversarial manner and will focus its campaigns on how employees can address workplace issues through collective bargaining and union representation.
Both the Company and the union have further agreed not to denigrate the other during the course of organizing efforts. Quebecor World and the union have agreed that the Company's employees will be able to choose whether or not to have union representation through a supervised secret ballot election. The protocol also provides for an expedited secret-ballot election upon request by the union when supported by 30% of employees in the desired bargaining unit at any unrepresented Company facility. This election will be held within 21 days and will be conducted by a neutral, mutually acceptable arbitrator in place of the National Labor Relations Board.
The Company and the union have committed to build a relationship based on trust and mutual respect and believe this accord is an important step in that direction.
"Quebecor World has always maintained that its employees have the right to join a union free from intimidation by any party and that they should be able to make that decision by means of a secret ballot election. We believe this agreement is a clear commitment that these are our employees' fundamental rights," said Pierre Karl Peladeau, President and CEO.
"This new accord marks a significant step forward for workers' rights in the printing industry and in our union's relationship with Quebecor World, the largest single employer of our membership," said George Tedeschi, President of the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. "The protocol paves the way for non-union workers to exercise their right to join a union and engage in collective bargaining, if they so choose."
"The Teamsters are proud to lead the way in ensuring workers' right to organize with this kind of agreement," added Teamsters President James Hoffa. "Our union looks forward to forging a working relationship with the Company as this agreement is implemented."
"I want to congratulate the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Quebecor World for reaching this agreement on organizing rights," stated John J. Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO. "This organizing accord is a significant accomplishment and I look forward to seeing it implemented at every plant that workers seek to organize. It's a bright new day for workers in the U.S. printing industry."