In February 2010, the Canadian Union of
Postal Workers filed an application for certification for the
purpose of representing the employees working at postal outlets in
various Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix drug store franchises
across Canada. The union argued that the franchisor, the Canada
Post Corporation, was the employer of the postal outlet
However, in a decision of the Canada
Industrial Relations Board ("CIRB") on July 3, 2013
(Canada Post Corporation, 2013 CIRB 690), the CIRB ruled in favour
of Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmaprix franchisees and Canada Post
Corporation, by dismissing the Canadian Union of Postal
Workers' application for certification.
The CIRB concluded that the true employer of the employees who
were the subject of the application for certification was the
franchisee of each Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix establishment
named in the application, and not the Canada Post Corporation. Each
franchisee met all of the requirements of an employer. This is
because the franchisees were responsible for hiring, setting wage
rates, making decisions on employee benefits, granting leave
requests, determining work schedules and hours of work for
employees and maintaining personnel records and records and
Whether the franchisor or the franchisee is considered the
"true employer" depends on a variety of factors, which
need to be assessed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
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