A new five-year agreement with Loblaw Companies Ltd. (LCL) has been ratified by UFCW Canada members across Ontario, except for workers at nine stores in the southwestern corner of the province.
The negotiations involved the coordinated bargaining efforts of UFCW Canada Locals 175 & 633, 1000A, and 1977. Bargaining units who voted for the new deal supported their bargaining committee's recommendation to accept the new contract.
The agreement provides a new option for conventional store workers who are affected by conversions. In addition to the options of taking a buyout, buydown, or early retirement in the event of a store conversion, affected members can instead opt to remain in the converted store and work under the new operational conditions but keep all their economic benefits as if they were still in a conventional store.
These include conventional store wages, benefits, Christmas bonus, vacation entitlement and personal sick days. This option would be in place of a buy-down option or a bump to one of the remaining conventional stores.
The new contract also provides for significant improvements in the RCSS/Great Food agreement in areas of part-time scheduling, wage progressions, benefits and full-time paid personal days.
The approximately 1,700 workers who voted against the deal are members of Locals 175 & 633, and are employed at nine Zehrs, GCFS and RCSS stores in the Chatham, Sarnia and Windsor areas.
Regarding those bargaining units, the company has applied for an Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) supervised vote. The union has extended its strike deadline until such time the government supervised vote has been conducted and concluded.