March 14, 2019
Head coverings grievance resolved in members favour at Loblaw warehouse

A grievance filed by the union regarding head coverings worn by members working in the Loblaw warehouse has been settled.

The issue began when Loblaw’s DC 1957 warehouse in South Surrey banned members working in the warehouse from wearing hoodies on the shop floor, despite the fact that since 2009, the DC 1957 warehouse had allowed hoodies and other head coverings to be worn, as long as the hood did not go past the person’s temple and did not obstruct their vision.

While this issue may not seem significant at first glance, the warehouse is a controlled environment facility, and union members were accustomed to wearing their hoodies in the wet and cold environment while performing their daily duties. 

Workers felt the recent hoodies ban policy was unreasonable and put in place without any meaningful consultation, and the union filed a grievance over the issue. Prior to a scheduled arbitration hearing, company representatives contacted UFCW 247 Secretary-Treasurer Dan Goodman along with Union Rep Eric Seto and the union’s legal counsel, and a settlement to the policy grievance was reached.

The company agreed to rescind the head coverings ban and reinstated the previous policy, in what is a good victory for the UFCW 247 members at DC 1957.

The terms of the settlement are:

  1. Subject to review by the Joint Health & Safety Committee, the Company agrees that hoodies (and other head coverings) may be worn provided that the hood does not go past the person’s temple and does not obstruct their vision;
  2. The Union retains the right to grieve the policy if it is changed after the JHSC review and deviates from the policy stipulated in article 1 above;
  3. Employees caught wearing their hoodies (and other head coverings) in an unsafe manner will be subject to progressive discipline up to and including termination of their employment;
  4. The Union agrees to withdraw the grievance on a without prejudice basis; and
  5. The Union and the Company agree that if either party raises safety concerns arising from allowing hoodies (and other head coverings), the matter will be referred to the Joint Health & Safety Committee for further review and potential recommendations.

If you have any questions, please discuss with a member of your workplace’s Joint Health & Safety Committee or your Shop Steward.