July 30, 2020
ST. JOHN’S–Negotiations to renew the collective agreement between Unifor and Loblaw Companies Limited are coming down to the wire as a strike deadline that will affect all 11 Dominion stores in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador looms.
“This is not the outcome we want. However, as the hours pass it becomes clearer that strike action may be inevitable,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
Negotiations between Unifor and Loblaw have been ongoing for eight months, beginning shortly after the company’s decision to eliminate 60 full-time positions, approximately 1 in 5 full-time jobs, at Newfoundland Dominion locations. Today more than 80 % of the remaining workers are part-time, with more than half earning less than $12 an hour.
“At this point some progress has been made. However, on the most important matters, including wages and new full-time jobs, we remain far apart. We are nearing an impasse,” said Unifor Local 597 President Carolyn Wrice.
The approximately 1,400 frontline workers at the Dominion stores have been working without a contract since October 2019 and have not received a wage increase since the spring of 2018.
“The COVID-19 crisis has been very difficult on our members, physically and emotionally. The only positive aspect was that it reminded Canadians of the value of supermarket work,” said Dias. “These frontline workers put their health and safety on the line to keep stores open and food on tables. Million-dollar Loblaw executives didn’t do that. The workers did.”
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For media inquiries please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at email@example.com or 416-896-3303 (cell).