PRESS RELEASE: JUNE 07, 2005

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Negotiating Committee unanimously decides employer offer unacceptable;
negotiations over until 2006

June 3, 2005

After almost three weeks of negotiations for an early renewal of the Zehrs, Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstores and Fortinos collective agreements, the talks are over.

Union bargaining representatives from UFCW Locals 1977, 1000A and 175 & 633 voted unanimously yesterday to not recommend the employers offer to any of their respective memberships, totalling nearly 30,000 Ontario retail workers.

"It was an unacceptable offer in almost every respect," said UFCW Local 1977 President Brian Williamson.

"The wage offer was unacceptable, the pension and benefits proposals were unacceptable, the scheduling provisions were unacceptable and the employers wish list for store conversions would have had an unacceptably negative impact on our members lives. There was no way we  or any of the other local unions  could have recommended the companys offer."

By prior agreement, there is no strike or lockout because of the failure to reach agreement. The current collective agreements remain in force until they expire. In the case of Local 1977s Zehrs and Real Canadian Superstores contracts, expiry is at the end of June, 2006.

UFCW Local 1977 has called membership meetings to explain the employers offer in detail and begin planning for next years negotiations. All members are strongly urged to attend.

"This was a very successful process even though we didnt reach an agreement," said Williamson.

"It was an historic watershed. All UFCW local unions with members working for the various Loblaw Companies banners are now united in their goals. This unity will serve us well next year when we return to the table."

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