1,500 Zellers workers ratify new union contract and ask Target for fairness
Over 1,500 Zellers employees who are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers have ratified a three-year union contract. Four of the Zellers stores covered by the collective agreement will be converting to Target.
More than 1,500 Zellers workers have ratified a new three-year collective agreement. The members of UFCW Canada Local 175 work at 12 Zellers stores across Ontario. Negotiations between the union and the company successfully concluded at end of January. The new three-year deal includes wage increases and enhanced severance pay in the case of store closure.
Four of the Zellers stores covered by the collective agreement will be converting to Target. The unionized Target stores are located in Toronto, Oshawa and Brantford. A fifth unionized store in Windsor, which was also purchased by Target, will be converting to a Sobeys. UFCW Canada is challenging Target to abide by all provisions of the new collective agreement.
“Congratulations to our members at Zellers in achieving a new collective agreement,” says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. “This is a victory for Zellers workers across Canada because it demonstrates that workers can protect their working conditions with a legally binding collective agreement.”
As Canada’s leading retail workers union, UFCW Canada is a partner in the worker-led campaign www.targetfairness.ca, which is dedicated to reaching out to communities affected by Target conversions, and asking Target for fairness by guaranteeing that Zellers workers will continue to be employed in their stores once the conversions have occurred and that their working conditions and years of service will be honoured by Target.
The new collective agreement in Ontario shows that union representation is the best way to ensure that Target listens to Zellers workers. UFCW Canada will file successor rights applications all Zellers workers who are members of the union, both currently and in the future. Any group of Zellers workers who unionizes before their store closes for renovations will have the ability to file for successor rights with Target.
UFCW Canada is the largest private-sector union in Canada, with more than 250,000 members, and represents Zellers workers at 15 stores in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.