President Filato (third from right) with the negotiators and bargaining committee members
As July temperatures rise in Quebec, things are also heating up on the negotiation front with the Provigo and Maxi supermarket chains in Quebec. Provigo and Maxi are both subsidiaries of Loblaw Companies.
With 30,000 Ontario Loblaw-banner workers already in a strike position after members delivered an overwhelming 97% strike mandate there, next door in Quebec members at 11 Maxi and Provigo stores in and around the Montreal area have also voted in favour of a strike. Eight of those stores are presently in mediation overseen by the Ministry of Labour. If things do not improve, 19 more stores are expected to join this movement by the end of the year.
Labour relations have deteriorated to the point that the number of grievances have increased drastically in the last two years. Given this situation, Antonio Filato, the president of UFCW Canada Local 500, met recently with all the negotiators and 11 bargaining committees on July 5th to establish a strategy for the months to come.
“Our relationship with this company has never been so bad”, says Brother Filato.
“Before, things could get resolved at the bargaining table through discussions. Because the company does not seem to realize how this process worked in the past, we have no other choice than to adopt new strategies and to look at other options”.