MONTREAL--Feb. 7, 2006-- On February 6, 2006 an independent arbitrator ruled that there is no need to have a re-run election at Quebecor World's Covington, TN facility as requested by the Teamsters. In that secret ballot election, employees did not elect union representation. The Company is pleased that the wishes of its employees will be respected.
In this same decision the Arbitrator ruled that Quebecor World's conduct did not adhere to the neutrality provisions of the May 2005 Neutrality Agreement signed by Quebecor World and the Teamsters. The arbitrator concluded that the totality of the communications with employees during the organizing period went beyond what he believed to be neutral. Quebecor World and the Teamsters have acknowledged that the agreement is unique and specifically allows Quebecor World to communicate objective facts to employees as well as communicate that it believes "that the interest of its employees is served by working as a team with the Employer and communicating directly with each other".
Under the terms of this agreement the standard of neutrality has some subjective measure, the parties agreed to a private resolution process through an independent arbitrator (compared to a public hearing through the National Labor Relations Board). Quebecor World respects the arbitrator's decision and will evaluate its approach to employee communications regarding the issue of union representation, and in good faith attempt to comply with the arbitrator's ruling and counsel, while still maintaining its right to communicate with its employees.
Quebecor World is disappointed that the Teamsters appear to have returned to its pre- May 2005 conduct of engaging in negative publicity regarding Quebecor World. In addition to the unnecessary press release on an agreed-to private dispute resolution process regarding the election process and arbitration award, the Teamsters have publicized assertions about events in Brazil that have no basis in fact. For example, while there was a demonstration by groups not employed by Quebecor World, there was no "strike" or work stoppage at our Recife, Brazil location and there have been no serious injuries or accidents at the Recife location in over two years. Public denigration by either party was something that both agreed would not be done under the May 2005 agreement.
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