Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Another reason not to do business in Quebec

The first being that they're French. (Tongue. Cheek. Get a sense of humor.)

The second is that they have really stupid people making rulings regarding businesses (particularly those with unions). Case in point:
Quebec's labor relations board has rejected Wal-Mart Canada's claim that it closed a unionized store in that province for economic reasons, saying instead that there was evidence the store might reopen.

I love that. They didn't reject Wal-Mart's claim because of what they did do. They rejected it because of what they MIGHT do. Ridiculous!

But wait! It gets better:
The labor board's decision did not look at the store's financial results, however.

So without even looking at the financial records, the board completely rejected Wal-Mart's argument that the store was unprofitable. Absolutely unbelievable! I think this makes it clear that the labor board had actually decided the case before Wal-Mart even made their argument.

Here's all the board cared about:
The board said it heard evidence that Wal-Mart had made no real effort to find another tenant to assume its 20-year lease on the store and that the building had neither been sold nor demolished. That, the board said, indicated that the closing was not permanent, making the dismissal of its workers illegal under Quebec law.

Oh, it had "heard evidence" that Wal-Mart supposedly wasn't doing anything with the building, even though Wal-Mart said it was trying to sell it:
...Pelletier said that Wal-Mart had been trying, without success, to find another retailer to take over the lease. ''It's an economically marginalized region,'' he said.

But how could the labor board know that if they didn't bother look at Wal-Mart's records? And apparently the labor board thinks 4 to 5 months is far too long a time for Wal-Mart to do something with their building. Whatever.

This whole ruling stinks of corruption. I wouldn't be surprised if the labor board is a puppet of the unions. "Psst! If you rule in our favor, we've got a little kickback for ya."

If I were Wal-Mart, I wouldn't try to do any more business in Quebec after this. Hopefully an appeal will go their way. They certainly have the evidence that the labor board wasn't looking at the whole picture.


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