PRESS RELEASE: APRIL 28, 2015

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Loblaw Negotiations to Begin May 4th

Earlier this year we began preparations for negotiations for UFCW Local 247 members employed at Real Canadian Superstores and Western Grocers facilities. Union Representatives visited all the locations in the province, distributing proposal forms and the link to the online proposal survey. The current collective agreement expires in mid-august. We anticipated getting to the table with the Company by mid-summer.

On April 6th, we received a letter from David Graf, Vice President of Labour Relations for the Loblaw Companies LTD, asking us to commence bargaining at our earliest opportunity. He cited proposed restructuring of the Canadian Commercial Workers Pension Plan (CCWIPP) and the additional contributions the Company was being asked to provide, as their reason to commence bargaining early.

The Company’s position is that should the parties reach an agreement for a new collective agreement, then the Union is required to have our members vote on  proposed collective agreement changes as well as vote on their participation in the new Master Contribution Agreement, specifically that means member self contributions to the pension plan, as a single ratification vote. This vote is required to take place prior to June 15, 2015.

The deadline for the changes to CCWIPP to be implemented is July 1st 2015.

The union has considered the employers position from a legal perspective, keeping in mind also that our members will begin receiving correspondence soon from CCWIPP, outlining the changes to the Pension Plan.

Therefore we have decided to commence bargaining on May 4th and have blocked off three solid weeks to see if an agreement can be reached. Negotiating committee members for both the retail and warehouse sides meet last week to finalize proposal packages and both Committees unanimously endorsed commencing bargaining early. We will be running the retail and warehouse bargaining concurrently to make better use of time. The Company recently took the same position with two UFCW Locals in Ontario and they have been bargaining for the past month for over 30,000 members.

If you recall, the last two settlements for this agreement both went well past the expiration dates so we welcome the chance to reach a fair settlement, if we can, early and in a much shorter period of time.

We believe we will know early on in the process if the Company is serious about reaching a settlement or posturing.

The Local has also begun blocking off meeting space immediately after the three week negotiations timeline, May 23rd. Should either a settlement be reached, or the process fall flat, we will be able to ratify a memorandum of settlement, hold information update meetings, or take strike votes if necessary. Once the process of bargaining begins, we will provide continuous updates on the website and the Locals facebook page.



  • ufcw [at] ufcw247 [dot] com