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Striking grocery workers help provide meals with picket line food drive

October 7, 2020 - 12:00 AM

October 7, 2020

ST. JOHN’S–Striking Dominion workers are helping to provide meals to food insecure people across Newfoundland and Labrador with a Thanksgiving food drive at picket lines across the province.

“This food drive takes place on the World Day for Decent Work, and there is no doubt of the correlation between precarious employment and food insecurity,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Our members understand the cost of feeding a family both as frontline grocery workers and as part-time low wage earners and that is why they stepped up to aid fellow members of their communities today.”

Members of the public donated non-perishable food items at picket lines at 11 Newfoundland Dominion stores. The Unifor Social Justice Fund, a registered charity, also contributed $6,000 to address food insecurity with donations of $3,000 each to The Salvation Army, which operates food banks across the province, and The Gathering Place in St. John’s.

“The need is always there but COVID-19 has added additional stress to the system,” said Major Bradley Reid, Divisional Secretary for Business Administration, The Salvation Army. “Both the cash donation and the food items collected today by Unifor will help supply food banks across the province.”

“The Unifor Social Justice Fund donation will go directly to the Gathering Place Meal Program that provides more than 600 meals a day in a safe space for those most in need,” said Joanne Thompson, Executive Director of The Gathering Place.

The Thanksgiving food drive follows last month’s donation of $10,000 to the Jimmy Pratt Foundation and Bridges to Hope food banks by the Unifor Social Justice Fund.

The 1,400 Dominion workers, on strike for more than six weeks, continue to call on Dominion parent company Loblaw Companies Limited to pay a living wage and to provide full-time jobs.

“This will be a difficult Thanksgiving for these workers on the picket line but they are resolved in their determination to obtain a fair offer from Loblaw at the bargaining table,” said Carolyn Wrice, President of Unifor Local 597.

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 or to arrange a Skype, Zoom or Facetime interview please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).