“Grocery store workers in Ontario have averted a potential strike as the union representing thousands of No Frills employees reaches a tentative agreement with the company. The agreement, which covers nearly 1,300 workers across the province, will now be up for a vote by union members.
Pattern wages and other improvements are part of the tentative deal, according to Unifor national president Lana Payne, who noted that the union’s bargaining committee was determined to build on the past achievements of grocery store workers in the province.
The strike deadline was announced on Thursday, but with the tentative deal in place, the union is now focused on getting it ratified by its members. The agreement will also be submitted to the employees for a ratification vote by the company.
The demand for higher wages and better working conditions was a key issue for the union’s call for a strike. The discount grocery banner, owned by Loblaw Cos. Ltd., has 17 stores affected by the potential strike, including locations in Toronto, Whitby, and Niagara Falls.
Unifor cited the growing profits at Loblaw amid the rising cost of living as the reason for their wage demands, emphasizing the frustration among workers over the disparity between their pay and the company’s earnings.
No Frills workers, many of whom are part-time, are set to vote on the tentative deal from Monday to Saturday. The outcome of the vote will determine whether the agreement gets finalized.
The union had previously found success with Metro workers in the Toronto area, who reached a five-year deal after a month-long strike in the summer. The agreement included an immediate raise of $1.50 an hour for about 2,700 workers, with additional raises scheduled for full-time and senior part-time workers in the following months.
This tentative agreement not only reflects the culmination of negotiations between No Frills and Unifor but also sheds light on the ongoing challenges faced by grocery store workers amid growing profits for their employers. As the union members prepare to vote on the deal, the outcome will have implications for the broader labor movement and the working conditions of employees in the retail sector.”