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1,200 Canada Goose Employees Vote to Unionize

Luxury-apparel company Canada Goose says it welcomes Workers United as the union representative.

Garment workers at three Canada Goose (GOOS) - Get Canada Goose Holdings, Inc. Report factories in Winnipeg, Manitoba, this week voted to unionize, after a year in which staff accused the luxury-apparel producer of unsafe practices and antiunion efforts.

Canada Goose has denied the accusations. 

With 86% voting in favor, 1,200 employees have chosen to be represented by the Canadian branch of Workers United, the union said in a statement. 

They join two Ontario locations that already have some employees who are union members.

With jackets costing more than US$1,000, Canada Goose apparel became popular with celebrities in the past decade. 

The push for unionization started three years ago and accelerated earlier this year after employees anonymously told Vice World News that they had to work under poor sanitation, insufficient distribution of personal protective equipment and a padlocked emergency exit.

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In June, the New York Times reported that labor activists protested outside the Boston offices of Bain Capital, the private-equity firm that acquired a majority stake in the company in 2013 and took it public soon after.

"Today marks a monumental step forward for workers in Winnipeg at Canada Goose," Rabia Syed, an organizing coordinator with Workers United, said in a news release.

"There is still work to be done, but for workers to have a seat at the table is a huge win."

The Philadelphia-based Workers United represents more than 86,000 employees in the apparel, food, service and hospitality industries and pushes back against unfair practices against employees. 

Canada Goose told Canadian outlet CTV News that it welcomed Workers United "as the union representative."

"We welcome Workers United as the union representative for our employees across our manufacturing facilities in Winnipeg and look forward to working alongside them as we have in Scarborough and Toronto for decades," a company representative said in a statement.

At last check,  (GOOS) - Get Canada Goose Holdings, Inc. Report stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange was off 7.5% at $36.46. The stock had touched a 52-week high $53.64 in mid-November.