May 06, 2022
Loblaw’s Bargaining Update: Strike Vote Scheduled

The Memorandum of Settlement has been rejected by 78 percent, which clearly sends the message that the Company’s final offer was not good enough.

While we have reached out to the Company’s Retail and Distribution Centre’s negotiations committee with the vote results, we have not received any indication on whether they intend to come back to the table.

You have reached this news release as preparations have been made to conduct strike votes in the province.

It is a fact that more than 95% of contracts are reached without ever resorting to a strike. Yet, from time to time unfortunately, strikes are necessary to achieve the bargaining goals we have set. In the event of a strike or lockout, we must stick together and help one another. The union will do all it can to provide full support during a dispute.

There is a specific process and rules for a legal strike to take place. Under the law, the union must conduct a strike vote. A strike can only happen when it has been approved by the members of the bargaining unit. The majority vote of members who participate in that vote will determine the results for the entire membership. It is imperative that you attend to have your vote count and your voice heard.

A successful strike vote does not always lead to a strike. Strikes and strike votes are a last resort means of showing workers’ resolve at the bargaining table.

A strong strike mandate will show the Company that the membership is serious and the stronger the mandate that you have, the less likely a dispute will occur.

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Additional information may be added as more questions may come in that will need to be answered:

Why is a strong strike mandate important?
Voting YES on a strike vote signals to Loblaw that we are strong and united. A strong YES vote will put pressure on the Company to get back to the bargaining table and to negotiate a fair deal. The stronger the strike mandate, the less likely a dispute will occur. A strong strike mandate puts the Union in the best possible position to secure a good deal without needing to call a strike.

What is a “strike mandate”?
A strike mandate means the members authorize a strike if the employer refuses to agree to a fair collective agreement. To secure a strike mandate, the UFCW Constitution requires a two-thirds majority vote of members voting YES on a strike vote.

Will we be able to vote again on another Memorandum of Settlement after the strike vote?
There is no guarantee that the Company will re-offer the same memorandum to vote on. Therefore, it is important for you to vote and show the Company that we are serious about our demands and bring them back to the table.

I didn’t vote, what happens to me?
If you do not vote, your vote is not counted.

What happened to the rejected Memorandum of Settlement?
Since the offer has been rejected. The terms of the offer do not have to be maintained.

If we vote NO to strike, can we still accept the last offer?
No, the offer has been rejected and the Company is not obligated to re-offer the same terms of settlement. If you vote NO, there is no incentive for the Company to do anything.

What is a strike?
A strike is when employees stop working to pressure the Company to agree to their demands in collective bargaining.

When would a strike be held?
With a strong strike mandate, there is pressure for the Company to return to the table. If your employer does not return to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair deal, your Union will give 72-hour notice of strike. Before this happens, you will be advised of the progress and the Union’s intent to issue notice.

Who is eligible for picket pay?
Members who are actively employed and working for the Employer prior to the strike/lockout.

How much is strike pay?
Strike pay is known as picket pay. To be eligible for picket pay, you must picket on the strike line. Picket pay is not a wage, so it is not taxable.
Full-time employees will receive picket pay of up to $400/week, subject to picketing hours and a minimum requirement of 24 picketing hours.
Part-time employees will receive picket pay of up to $325/week, subject to picketing hours and a minimum requirement of 20 picketing hours.
Loblaw Distribution Centre members working at DC 1957 are not part of the NDF (National Defence Fund), therefore their picket pay is as follows:
Full-time employees will receive picket pay of up to $300/week, subject to picketing hours and a minimum requirement of 24 picketing hours.

Part time employees will receive picket pay of up to $275/week, subject to picketing hours and a minimum requirement of 20 picketing hours.

When does Strike pay commence?
The financial aid allowed shall not be payable for the first seven days of the strike or lockout and shall apply only to those members who have been on strike or locked out for fourteen days in succession.

Can the Employer force a vote on the membership?
Yes, under the current Labour Relations Code, the employer can ask the Labour Relations Board to allow the employees to vote on the last proposal for a collective agreement.  This is a one-time ability.

Picket pay will not cover my bills.  What do I do?
If you picket, you will be eligible to receive TAX FREE picket pay.  We also encourage members to find OTHER ADDITIONAL EMPLOYMENT during a strike to help make up any shortfalls you may have. It is also important to reach out to creditors now to see what kind of relief they may be able to provide should you be involved in a labour dispute. This is something you can do now to ensure you aren’t surprised later. Creditors want you to be able to pay them back, and they can be surprisingly understanding, because strikes do happen.

How do I prepare for a strike?
UFCW Canada has prepared a guide for strike preparation.  Here are some highlights:
1.       Prepare financially.
          -Do not make major purchases if they can be avoided
2.       Medical coverage.
          – If you or a family member needs life-sustaining medication or treatment, talk to your family doctor prior to the strike or lockout and see if
          it is possible to increase the prescription size or move treatment up while you are still covered.
3.       Stock up to cut costs.
4.       Family matters.
          -If you have children in child care, contact your childcare provider ahead of time and advise them of the impending strike or lockout. Inquire about   
          making arrangements to reduce payments, or make up payments after the strike, or suspend service and make alternative arrangements with friends,
          relatives, or co-workers.

Will I have health benefits coverage in the event of a strike?
It will very likely the Company will stop paying the premiums for the Manulife benefits and benefit coverage will cease on the commencement of a strike. The Union Benefit Trust Fund benefits (dental, prescription drug, optical, RMT) will continue up to 3 months from the last day worked.

How will a picket line work at a store that is within a mall?
The Labour Relations Code basically says picketing should only affect the business whose employees are lawfully on strike. This does not necessarily mean you can’t picket inside a mall, but it does mean the picketing should be restricted in such a way that it does not block access or otherwise affect the other businesses. For example, the Board has allowed picketing of an Extra Foods in a mall in Prince Rupert to take place in front of the grocery store entrance which was inside the entrance doors to the Mall, where the picketing was not at the entrance doors to the mall itself.

Could the Company bring workers from outside the province or from other divisions to work in the store/warehouse during a strike?
The Labour Relations Code does not allow an employer to use “replacement workers” during a strike to perform the work of an (1) employee in the bargaining unit that is on strike, or (2) the work ordinarily done by a person (like an excluded manager) who is doing the work of a person who is on strike. The Code specifies that the type of replacement workers that are not allowed includes persons who ordinarily work at another one of an employer’s places of operations.  Thus, the employer cannot lawfully use management from outside the province, nor can they use employees from different, non-union shops, to perform the work of striking employees.  

Has the Company contacted the Union?
No, the Company has not responded to our invitation to return to the table.  Likely they are waiting to see the results of the strike mandate and would respond accordingly.

Can probationary members be asked to picket? And be eligible for picket pay?
Yes, all dues-paying members at the affected locations are eligible to picket and receive picket pay.

Can a member cross the picket line and work in the store during the strike?
What happens to the member that does cross and continue to work during the strike?
What steps does the Union take to stop/prevent this from happening and what steps does the union take against the member?

Individuals who make a conscious choice to betray and undermine workers or co-workers – and their own standard of living – by trying to defeat a strike by crossing union picket lines are commonly referred to as Scabs. Shamefully, scabs are still permitted in most jurisdictions in Canada.
Scabs who are members of the union can be charged under the terms of the union’s constitution and, if convicted, can lose their membership in the union, and even their jobs in some instances.

Will a store remain open during a strike?
Do you really think that the store can run with just Supervisors?  Likely, with the disruption from the Distribution Centres and supply chain limitations, the store would not be able to be supplied.

We have received a strong strike vote.  Why aren’t we issuing strike notice to the Company?
A strong strike vote mandate is aimed at getting the Company back to the table to improve their offer to you.  After a successful strike vote, Loblaw is given the chance to return to the bargaining table and reconsider their final offer.  An offer for Union members to either accept or reject and commence strike action.  We must still prepare for the worst.  An actual strike is a real possibility and will be a substantial undertaking with risks that are not taken lightly.

I just saw the news release that the Retail Committee is returning to the bargaining table.  What happens to the Distribution Centres?
They will not commit to changing their last presented offer and will await the Retail discussions before taking any further action.

If I am full-time and I have already booked my vacation.  Will I get paid for my vacation?  
Upon serving the Company 72 hours strike notice, when a strike is called the provisions in the collective agreement are suspended and all pay ceases, for those on vacation as well as those not on vacation.

If I am on paid sick leave, what happens to my pay?
Sick leave payments are provided by the Insurance Carrier.  If you are currently receiving benefits pay and still medically qualify for paid sick leave as defined under the benefit plan, you would continue to receive paid benefits.  If a member is already in receipt of Maternity or Sick Benefits at the time of the job action through EI they are entitled to continue to receive payments.

Additional information on being prepared for a strike or lock out is available here.

Members are encouraged to contact their union representive if they have any questions.

Voting times and locations are as follows and will be posted on your bulletin boards at work, members are welcome at vote at their most convenient location:
**must show photo ID to collect a ballow**




May 14


8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Sheraton Guildford

15269 104th Avenue, Surrey

May 15

Port Coquitlam

8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

PoCo Inn & Suites

1545 Lougheed Hwy, Port Coquitlam


8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Prestige Hotel Vernon

4411 32 Street, Vernon


8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Hampton Inn

8050 Lickman Rd, Chilliwack

Prince George

8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Prestige Treasure Cove Resort

2005 Highway 97 South, Prince George


8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Holiday Inn

318 Wale Road, Colwood


8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Florence Filberg Centre

411 Anderton Avenue, Courtenay

May 16


8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort

209 Van Horne St South, Cranbrook

Duncan * VOTING STARTS @ 8:30am

8:30am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Ramada Duncan

140 TransCanada Hwy, Duncan

Campbell River

8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Comfort Inn & Suites

1351 Shoppers Row, Campbell River


8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Coast Capri

1171 Harvey Ave, Kelowna

North Vancouver

8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Holiday Inn

700 Old Lillooet Road, North Van

Pitt Meadows – DC 1932


Hollywood 3 Cinemas

19190 Lougheed Hwy, Pitt Meadows

Vancouver – DC 1935

8am-11am and 3pm-7pm

South Hall Event Centre

8273 Ross Street, Vancouver

May 17


8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Penticton Lakeside Resort

21 Lakeshore Dr W, Penticton


8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Best Western Plus Regency Inn

32110 Marshall Road, Abbotsford


8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Ramada by Wyndham

555 West Columbia St, Kamloops


8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Grand Hotel

4898 Rutherford Rd, Nanaimo


8am-12pm and 2pm-8pm

Delta Hotel Burnaby Conference Centre

4331 Dominion Street, Burnaby

South Surrey – DC 1957

8am-11am and 1pm-3pm and 5pm-9pm

Coast Langley City Hotel & Convention Centre

20393 Fraser Hwy, Langley