Was that chit-chat or interrogation?

In a union shop, talking to employees without a labour steward present complicates disciplinary process
By Lorna Harris
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/22/2003


t was the evening before the long weekend in August, and several employees on the afternoon shift at a Sobey’s distribution warehouse decided to leave early for their meal break.

As they left the building, they were spotted by David Blair, their shift manager. He noted down the time and, after their return, spoke to each of the workers individually about what he had seen them do. The union steward was not in the plant that weekend, so Blair told each person the situation would be dealt with the next week, when the steward was present.