Workers at the Indigo Books & Music location in Mississauga, Ontario, in suburban Toronto, voted this week to join UFCW Local 1006A. The move to unionize was prompted in part by a requirement that forced booksellers to routinely clean customer bathrooms, something employees said they felt was risky behavior during the pandemic.
An initial filing to unionize the Mississauga store was made on September 10. The union was able to generate strong support for the move to organize on social media, where videos from several local political and community leaders were shared.
The next step will be for the union and management from the store to negotiate terms. "They’re legally obligated to negotiate in good faith with us," said Kevin Shimmin, a national representative for UFCW Canada, speaking with Quill & Quire. "Then we’ll have a series of meetings soon after the vote where we’ll ask the employees for all their proposals for negotiations. And then we’ll ask them to elect a few people from amongst themselves to be on the negotiating committee. The negotiations could take a few months."
This is not the first Indigo store to unionize, as workers at the Indigo store on McGill Avenue in Montreal joined the Confederation of National Trade Unions in 2003. As for whether other locations will follow suit, Shimmin said, "Sometimes we’ll see that ripple effect, and we’re definitely hoping that’s the case with Indigo, because we have heard from a number of workers from other locations who are expressing the same concerns."
PW has reached out to Indigo on the results of the vote and has yet to receive a comment.