McDonald's Organized

September 10, 1998


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McDonald's Organized
dated September 10, 1998

McDonald's Organized

They are 16 and 17 years old. They look like and are ordinary teenagers. But they are also history makers. Tessa Lowinger and Jennifer Wiebe broke the no-union rule at McDonalds because they were fed up.

Tessa Lowinger
"Jennifer and I were sitting around and we were thinking about a lot of things that other employees had said to us and experiences that we had at work. We decided to do something about it."


That something was to call the CAW and start the process of organizing a union by getting union cards signed.

Tessa Lowinger

"It only took three and a half days. People were more than willing to sign the cards. Not everyone did, but we had over the 55 per that we needed."

Jennifer Wiebe
Tessa Lowinger
"We didn't convince them. We just told them the facts and we let them decide on their own whether it was "No" or "Yes" I'll sign the card. We didn't care as long as they had made an informed decision. We didn't want a union if the majority of the workers didn't want a union. The fact is they did, because they knew that once it was all laid out on the table, that a union would help us a hundred percent, make everything better at work."

That hope was not in vain. After the certification was approved things started to change.

Jennifer Wiebe
Tessa Lowinger
"Even though we don't have a contract yet, our employer has made changes. It's nice to go to work now."

"Everything is fixed. We had some safety problems and now they are all fixed, so it's pretty good"


While the media heaped praise on the two teenagers, both young women speaking at the First CAW Hospitality Sector Conference in Montreal, made a point of crediting the CAW members and their organizing staff.


Jennifer Wiebe
Tessa Lowinger
"Being here has really made us realize how much support we actually have from all you guys, so we would just like to thank you guys for all your support."

Organizing the McDonald's in Squamish BC has resulted in numerous calls to the CAW from other unorganized restaurant workers.


CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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