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Negotiations break off in NL as Loblaw refuses to stop job cuts

November 18, 2019 - 12:00 AM

November 15, 2019

St. John’s – Negotiations between Unifor and Loblaw Companies Limited reached an impasse, as the company refused to revisit its aggressive plan to cut full-time jobs at Dominion stores.

“Loblaw is failing workers,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Members are rightly concerned about the deteriorating quality of jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador, but their employer refuses to put the people of the province ahead of its massive profits.”

Improving job security in the face of technological change, enhancing work standards, and protecting full-time are central priorities. Unifor fought Loblaw’s plan to cut good, full-time jobs and expand part-time hiring when it was announced in June 2019. Loblaw, Canada’s richest food retailer, earned more than $800 million in net profit last year. Full-time positions in the province’s 11 stores have now been reduced to just 17 per cent of the workforce.

“Members are refusing to be taken advantage of any longer,” said Carolyn Wrice, Unifor Local 597 President. “We’re not going to stand by as Loblaw continues erode full-time jobs at the expense of workers.”

The union represents more than 1,300 members at Dominion stores across NL. Membership meetings will be held in the coming weeks to discuss next steps, including possible strike action. The current collective agreement expired on October 28, 2019. The union plans to file for provincial conciliation imminently.

“This employer is harming workers and their communities by replacing good, full-time jobs with part-time shifts,” said Chris MacDonald, Assistant to the National President. “Loblaw must come back to the table ready to address this key issue.”

While preparing for bargaining, members emphasized the dire need for an immediate stop to aggressive job cuts. Unifor published a new video highlighting member’s concerns.

Unifor represents more than 20,000 members who work in supermarkets, pharmacies, appliance stores and other retail shops across Canada.

For media inquiries please contact Unifor Communications Representative Paul Whyte at paul.whyte@unifor.org or 647-221-9343 (cell).