Brault & Martineau locks out 37 unionized employees at Laval store

MONTREAL – Furniture, electronics and appliance retailer Brault & Martineau has locked out 37 unionized sales workers at its store in Laval, Que.

The company said Monday that the nature of the union’s demands and its unwillingness to compromise at the negotiation table left it no choice.

Brault & Martineau alleges that the union’s demands completely disregard the competitive environment of the industry as well as service issues that are an essential feature of the company’s business model.

It said the Laval store, the only one of 38 retail locations in the chain that is unionized, would remain open despite the lockout.

The sales employees at the company’s Laval location, along with 17 office workers, received certification in December as members of Local 501 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

Negotiations are scheduled for next month on a separate draft agreement submitted by the office workers, who have not been locked out. Brault & Martineau said it is confident a deal can be reached with these employees without any work disruption.

The company also locked out 219 warehouse employees last month over a disagreement about a proposed pension plan.