B.C. Labour Board denies attempt to suppress Blacklisting evidence

Vancouver – March 16, 2013 – The British Columbia (B.C.) Labour Board has denied an attempt by the Mexican government to suppress documentary evidence – including the testimony of former consular officials – that supports allegations the Mexican government was involved in blacklisting union supporters from returning to Canada as part of the migrant worker program.

As outlined in an earlier UFCW Canada release, the Mexican government had cited “sovereign immunity” in trying to have the testimony of their former consular officials discarded, but the B.C. Labour Board ruled in a two to one decision that the evidence presented by UFCW Canada Local 1518 is admissible. In addition to the blacklisted union activists, the case also concerns the collective bargaining rights of the agriculture workers employed by Sidhu & Sons Nursery – the company that UFCW Canada contends colluded with the Mexican consulate to foster a decertification attempt by blacklisting union supporters.

"This is an important decision for the Local 1518 members affected by the blacklist, and for the growing international movement that is uniting to protect migrant worker rights,” says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. “The labour board’s refusal to accept the argument of ‘sovereign immunity’ as grounds for union busting sends a very strong message to foreign governments who think they can undermine or discourage the fundamental labour rights of workers in Canada.”

Despite the labour board’s decision, the employer continues to disregard the labour rights of its employees, and the courts’ time, by demanding an appeal of the labour board’s denial.