March 25, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Laurentian Bank | Union members vote for the de-union

Laurentian Bank |  Union employees in favor of revocation of union certification

Laurentian Bank employees affiliated with the FTQ voted 56.6% to withdraw union certification, paving the way for the end of the only union in the 54-year-old Canadian bank.

Richard DufourRichard Dufour

Members have been able to exercise their right to vote electronically (via the Internet or by telephone) for the past two weeks. Voting ends at 5pm on Friday.

The turnout was 90.8%, with 514 out of 566 eligible voters to exercise their voting right.

Julie Tankrode, president of the Laurentian Employees Union, made it clear that she was disappointed with the result.

Photo by Martin Chamberland, Press Archives

Julie Tankrod, president of the Laurentian Bank Employees Union

We worked hard to explain to our members the benefits of being with SEPB 434. After four years of intense war, it has decimated our members.

Julie Tankrod, president of the Laurentian Bank Employees Union

The union, however, dictates that the outcome of the vote does not directly lead to dismissal. The motion to withdraw union certification was filed just before Christmas and the union complained of unfair practice.

The CIRB must consider the complaint

The Board of Industrial Relations (CIRB) of Canada said it would call on the parties to discuss further steps to resolve the complaint in light of the ballot results. Therefore the employees who come under the scope of certification are currently unionized.

If the allegations are proven to be established, they will have an invalid effect on the request made for withdrawal. The CIRB can then order a new vote. The group of employees can also be “reunited”. Other ways, according to the union, could lead to continued recognition.

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“So I can not see the end in a short time,” said Julie Tankrod.

This de-union process is the fourth in five years. The first attempt not to submit to CIRB took place in late 2016. In 2018, two such policies failed (in the first case, more than 60% of the employees who voted were in favor of the union.

Laurentian’s workforce is now less than 3,000 and the union has about 600 members. Five years ago, the union had about 2,000 members. This number has dropped significantly since the abolition of the posts.

The union has been at Laurentian for 54 years, i.e. since 1967.

The decision is a decision-making project led by Jonathan Lecklerk, a union financial adviser who has worked at the bank since 2008. Could not speak to him on Friday.

On the Facebook page, he mentioned that it was an opportunity for employees to “look after their future”.

“If we were a union, we would have to go through another set of deals in 2021 with everything that could lead to uncertainty and fear campaigns among customers,” he argued on this Facebook page earlier this month.

Syndicated Bank only

Laurentian is the seventh largest bank and the only union in the country. After lengthy and difficult negotiations, a new collective agreement was finally reached in 2019.

Rania Levelin, who previously worked in Scotia, has been running Laurentian since October. She took over from Franకోois Deszardins, who resigned in the middle of last year after launching an ambitious transformation plan six years ago. The plan directs Laurentian towards financial advice and digital services. The number of these branches has increased from 150 six years ago to 60 today.

Rania Levellin has already announced a number of organizational changes, but has not yet stated the strategic direction she wants to give to the financial institution.

Laurentian Bank stock rose 1% to $ 40.52 in Toronto on Friday, near its 52-week high.