Unifor Members Strike for Improvements in Retail Sector

(St. John, Canada)— Workers at Dominion grocery stores across the province of Newfoundland, members of Unifor Local 597, ratified a new collective agreement on November 13, ending a 12-week long strike action at stores across Newfoundland.

“These workers were the first to undertake meaningful strike action to draw attention to a business model in Canadian retail that fails workers,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “While improvements were obtained we know there is still more work to do at Dominion and the other grocery giants in this country to address wages and precarious work and Unifor will persevere in that effort.”

UE’s officers sent a letter of solidarity to Unifor Local 597 in September, noting that “Our members include many in the grocery and food chain industry, and we know how valuable all these workers have been to the public throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic. They deserve to be treated with dignity and paid a living wage.

“We are disappointed to hear that Loblaw Companies Ltd is unwilling to provide the full time jobs and improved pay that union members are demanding. We know that greedy CEOs like Galen Weston Jr. are the same regardless of where they live — they care only about their own profits. We hope that your strike action will remind him that those profits would not exist without the labor of Unifor members, and that they will return to the bargaining table soon.”

The new four-year contract, backdated to October 2019, covers more than 1,400 Unifor members at 11 Dominion locations in Newfoundland.“Our members took a stand to improve working conditions in Canada’s retail sector and we will continue in the challenge to raise the bar for workers,” said Unifor Local 597 President Carolyn Wrice.