Union privacy breach affects Grieg NL hatchery workers

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“This atrocious breach of privacy undermines the fundamental right of workers to sign a union card and join a union of their choice”.

A union privacy breach affecting carpenters at Grieg NL’s project in Marytown, Canada, has led to accusations of alleged layoffs, reports VOCM and CBC.

In August, Newfoundland and Labrador’s carpenter union sent an application to the Labour Relations Board on behalf of workers on the construction site for Grieg NL Development, a separate company operating in Marystown to oversee the construction portion of the Placentia Bay Project.

But a copy of the application was sent to the employer by the board the following day, along with cards signed by workers to indicate whether they wanted to be part of the union. Normally the information is strictly confidential.

In a press release, Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL) President Mary Shortall said: “This atrocious breach of privacy undermines the fundamental right of workers to sign a union card and join a union of their choice”.

While the breach is being investigated, VOCM reports that there have already allegedly been layoffs at the Grieg facility.

Politician Jeff Dwyer, MHA for Placentia West-Bellevue said that he wanted an investigation.

“There were people laid off after this list was received. Whether that’s a coincidence or the fact that the list was acted on, that’s what we’d like to know through an independent investigation,” he said.

However, Grieg NL spokesperson Perry Power told CBC: “We do not agree with the characterisation of the situation as presented by Placentia West-Bellevue MHA Jeff Dwyer. We are unable to comment further because the matter is currently before the labour board.”

To SalmonBusiness, Power said that Grieg NL Development Ltd. is a separate company operating in Marystown to oversee the construction portion of the Placentia Bay Project.

“This is the company that is involved in the application currently before the Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Relations Board,” he explained.

“The NL Labour Relations Board sent the information to the company in error and we cooperated with the Board in addressing that occurrence. Grieg NL Development Ltd. respects employees’ choice whether or not to be represented by a union and we have been conducting our business in full compliance with labour legislation while this application is being processed by the Labour Relations Board,” he concluded.