Loblaw contract dispute sees more than 500 employees laid off in Calgary, union says


More than 500 employees at a Loblaw distribution centre in Calgary will probably be out of a job this week. That’s in line with a union that represents the employees.

Amid negotiations for larger wages, Teamsters Local Union 987 mentioned that 527 out of 534 on the location have been informed they are going to be laid off efficient Thursday.

The union has been in talks with the grocery and drugstore retailer because the final settlement expired June 6.

“A portion of the distribution centre employees who earn hourly wages are usually not solely combating incomes much less than the suitable residing wage for Calgary of $22.40, however they’re additionally now dealing with layoffs,” mentioned John Taylor, the enterprise agent for Teamsters Local Union 987. 

According to Taylor, Loblaw was providing a “straight cash provide” that didn’t embrace any guidelines or laws round working circumstances. He mentioned the corporate wouldn’t change something the union had requested for that didn’t contain cash.

Teamsters Local 987 rejected the employer’s provide on Nov. 3, and once more rejected the identical provide on Nov. 15 — which was a labour board supervised proposal vote.

In an announcement despatched to CBC News, Catherine Thomas, the vice-president of communication at Loblaw, mentioned her firm was dissatisfied the provide was “narrowly rejected,” and that many colleagues share the sentiment. 

“The union’s feedback ignore that this was a robust provide with wage will increase of as much as 32 per cent for full-time and more than 40 per cent for part-time colleagues over a five-year time period,” Thomas mentioned. 

“These are a few of the best wages in the business, some reaching more than $33 per hour. To be clear, as we speak roughly two-thirds of full-time Freeport employees already make more than $22/hour, considerably above the minimal wage of $15.”

But Taylor says it isn’t simply concerning the cash. 

“The working circumstances of the language that we had in our settlement six years in the past that the corporate took away … it was faraway from the settlement six years in the past and we would like the language again,” he mentioned.

“The provide they made was undoubtedly, I imply, I’m not going to say it was horrible. It was a good provide. But once more, this firm, given their success, might do higher.”

With the rejection of the provide, Thomas mentioned the corporate is getting ready for a piece stoppage on the facility on Freeport Boulevard N.E. 

She mentioned the firm has began to maneuver stock to different distribution centres to make sure shops can proceed to serve clients with out disruption.


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