Wal-Mart must compensate workers, court says

OTTAWA, Ontario — Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that Wal-Mart must compensate former workers at a Quebec store that was closed after they voted to become the first Wal-Mart store in North America to unionize.

The high court ruled in 2009 that Wal-Mart was entitled to close the store in Jonquiere in 2005, seven months after workers voted to unionize. But the workers filed a new case that said Wal-Mart contravened a section of Quebec labor law, which says working conditions must not be altered in any way, shape or form during a unionization process.

The court ruled in a five-to-two decision Friday that the world’s largest retailer modified working conditions for the employees without a valid reason when it shut down.

An arbiter will determine appropriate reparations, possibly with damages and interest.

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