Loblaw Bargaining Updates

  • Westfair Negotiations Update #1

    September 15, 2008
    NEGOTIATIONS ARE NOW AT A CRITICAL POINT
    After the last round of bargaining both sides seem far apart on a new collective agreement with the company dragging its heels on the major issues. To date the company has only agreed on minor issues, having avoided the major issues of benefits, job security and 24-hour shopping.“The way the company has handled the last four weeks of negotiations demonstrates that they don’t understand the importance of these issues with our members” stated UFCW Local 832 President Robert Ziegler.
    UNION LEADERS MEET TO DISCUSS NEGOTIATIONS IN THREE WESTERN PROVINCES
    On Sunday September 14 UFCW Local 832 President Robert Ziegler and Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Traeger attended a meeting in Calgary with other UFCW Locals regarding negotiations with Westfair. During this meeting bargaining strategies with local 401 and 1400 who are also fighting Westfair for a better contract were discussed. The locals are committed to their ‘Solidarity Pact’ of assisting each other during their negotiations. More details will follow on this in the coming days.
    EXTRA FOODS TO CHANGE TO NO FRILLS?
    The unions negotiating committee recently heard that the company wants to change the banners of Extra Foods in Western Canada to the discount banner “No Frills” which is popular in Ontario. Unfortunately under the Ontario No Frills banner, lower wages and benefits are the norm.  During the last round of bargaining the unions negotiating committee pressed the company for details on the store conversions, but the company wasn’t very forth coming. “It’s evident that the company didn’t want to talk about the store conversions during these negotiations, it looks like they wanted to push it through after the ratification, but this is an important issue and will have a huge impact on these negotiations” stated Ziegler.
    STRIKE PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY
    We’re hopeful that a settlement can be reached in time, but we still have to prepare for a strike as your contract is set to expire at the end of the month. Your union has been preparing for these negotiations for over a year and President Ziegler has given the go ahead to start strike preparations. “You have to be prepared when you take on a company like Westfair (Loblaws).” On August 24 you voted 98% in favour of strike action. UFCW members in Alberta voted 94% in favour of strike action and Saskatchewan members will be counting their ballots on September 16, its believed they will also have a strong strike mandate as well as negotiations have dragged on in those provinces.
    For current negotiations updates you can visit the union website at www.westfair2008.com

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