Loblaw worker strikes begin as parties return to negotiating table
Thousands more poised to strike if a deal is not reached
TORONTO—As workers form picket lines, Loblaw and the United Food and Commercial Workers union are heading back to the negotiating table.
Strikes began in nine stores represented by UFCW 175 and 633 in Windsor, Leamington, Chatham, Kingsville and Sarnia this morning. The company has continued to operate the stores, but workers in 60 other locations are poised to strike next week if parties aren’t able to come to an agreement.
The strike deadline for Local 1000A members working at Loblaws Great Food and Superstore is set for July 5. The company, the union and an Ontario Ministry of Labour mediation officer, who requested the parties return continue negotiations, will have three days to reach a deal.
Negotiations began in February and broke down last week after union members voted to reject a tentative memorandum of agreement between the union and the company.
“Extensive strike preparations continue as UFCW Canada Local 1000A and Loblaw Companies Ltd. return to the negotiating table,” Local 1000A said in a statement.
The union represents approximately 12,000 workers at Loblaws Great Food and Superstore locations across Ontario.
According to the union, the mediation officer has asked for a media blackout for all parties as negotiations continue.