TORONTO—Frontline grocery workers at Metro have ratified a historic new collective agreement, ending a month-long strike that started on July 29, 2023.
“What a time to fight for workers. This is a historic collective agreement that sets a new bar for grocery store workers. It was achieved thanks to our members’ perseverance and unwavering solidarity, as well as incredible community support,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “As a union we know the unique time we are experiencing in our fight for workers and we are determined to seize that moment as we continue to organize for better for workers everywhere.”
Full-time and senior part-time workers will receive an unprecedented pay increase of $2.00 per hour within months. With all workers, full and part-time, receiving an immediate, upfront wage hike of $1.50/hour.
Front-loaded wage improvements were achieved in this historic agreement to get more money in workers’ pockets faster and to ensure that future annual wage improvements significantly compound over time—a key priority for this round of negotiations. This translates into more than $33,000 in new earnings for a full-time clerk over the lifetime of the agreement, example.
The new deal contains an overall wage improvement of $4.50 per hour for full-time and senior part-time workers and $3.20 for non-senior part-time workers, over the duration of the contract. New hourly rates will reach $25.05/hour for full-time clerks and significantly higher wages for part-time clerks —improvements that some frontline grocery workers describe as “life-changing.”
This unparalleled contract sets a precedent for further grocery store bargaining. The agreement covers 3,700 frontline grocery workers at 27 Metro stores spread across the GTA.
“Workers made it abundantly clear that they needed to see real wage gains in the first year of the agreement to address the affordability issues they currently face, which is exactly what we accomplished in this new contact,” says Gord Currie, Unifor Local 414 President. “I am extremely proud of our bargaining committee and all Metro workers for their bravery and determination.”
The new agreement also includes a new part-time sick leave program, improved benefits and pensions, a new standardized work week for full-time workers, more stable scheduling including additional guaranteed weekends off for some classifications, and job protection from the implementation of self-check-outs.
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.