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Striking grocery workers offer to help Dominion donate perishable food

August 24, 2020 - 12:00 AM

August 24, 2020

ST. JOHN’S– Striking grocery workers have offered to help Dominion to donate perishable food from Newfoundland stores to local food banks.

“We are aware that there are perishables in the stores and there are people in need across Newfoundland,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Unifor has reached out to Loblaw Companies Limited to inform that our frontline grocery members are willing to assist any way we can to get the perishables out of the stores and into the hands of not-for-profit organizations that would distribute the food.”

More than 1,400 workers at 11 Dominion locations across Newfoundland began strike action on Saturday August 22, 2020 after voting to overwhelmingly reject the contract offered by Dominion parent company Loblaw Companies Limited.

Negotiations between Unifor and Loblaw have been ongoing for eight months, beginning shortly after the company’s decision to eliminate more than 60 full-time positions, approximately one in five 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.

“Ironically some of Dominion’s own workers utilize local food banks so we are keenly aware of the need in our communities,” said Unifor Local 597 President Carolyn Wrice. “The workers are taking a stand to raise working conditions for themselves and to draw attention to the poverty wages that profitable grocery giants like Loblaw continue to pay.”

The 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.

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 kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).