Will there be a Strike or Settlement?
Union negotiations moved slowly this week. The government-appointed mediator went back and forth repeatedly between the Local 401 Bargaining Committee and Superstore management. We made some small progress, but ultimately accomplished little on key strike issues relating to wages, benefits, and representational rights.
Meetings were slow, painful, and frustrating.
In fact, Superstore declined to come to bargaining at all today, likely because of their shameful refusal to properly acknowledge the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Our Bargaining Committee and Superstore members, who joined discussions virtually, held a moment of silence to acknowledge the importance of the day, our country’s disturbing history around residential schools, and its harmful impact on Indigenous peoples and communities.
Yet, there is still hope for a settlement.
Toronto Loblaws officials have taken note of Superstore union members’ powerful 97% strike vote and have now expressed interest in having some high-level meetings as a bridge to continue negotiations.
“Ultimately, a key goal of union negotiations, and the strike vote itself, was to get the attention of Loblaws decision-makers,” said Secretary Treasurer Richelle Stewart. “So, this interest is good news.”
Conversations between different sets of people can often help to break a log jam. But we need to be careful. Any optimism must be cautious optimism, and your union continues to prepare for a strike.
A new and special public relations campaign is in the works, and a variety of important legal maneuvers are being weighed and considered.
“The circumstances around bargaining are evolving quickly,” said UFCW Local 401 President Thomas Hesse. “That’s especially true as we navigate a devastating fourth wave of the pandemic in Alberta. Today’s analysis may need to change tomorrow, and we need to be prepared to turn on a dime.”
Members of your Bargaining Committee are back in stores to talk about negotiations and our next steps in pressuring Superstore to make a reasonable offer.
Tomorrow, we will be hosting two online Zoom meetings at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM for Superstore members to get further updates on negotiations.
If you haven’t joined our movement, the time to do so is now! The thousands of workers who voted to strike invite you to add your voice to calls for fairness at the bargaining table. You can help to spread the message and ensure that Superstore knows it’s time to improve their offer in bargaining!
Posted on: October 01,2021