July 16th, 2024

Unifor set to bargain for more than 2,800 workers at Loblaw-owned stores

By The Canadian Press on October 24, 2023.

Unifor is set to bargain on behalf of more than 2,800 grocery store workers at Loblaw-owned stores in Newfoundland and Ontario, testing whether the union can bring the gains it made for Toronto Metro workers to other grocery chains. A Loblaws store is seen Monday, March 9, 2015 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

TORONTO – Unifor is set to bargain on behalf of more than 2,800 grocery store workers at Loblaw-owned stores in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, testing whether the union can bring the gains it made for Toronto Metro workers to other grocery chains.

More than 3,700 Metro workers in Greater Toronto went on strike this summer after rejecting their first tentative deal. They accepted an agreement more than a month later that the union called historic.

Unifor has made it clear it intends to try and replicate those wins for other grocery workers it represents.

A pair of agreements representing around 2,850 workers at multiple Ontario No Frills stores and multiple Newfoundland and Labrador Dominion stores expire this month.

York University associate professor of labour geography Steven Tufts says it can be difficult to establish a bargaining pattern in the grocery sector, which is fragmented and includes many different chains from discount to high-end.

Despite the challenges, he thinks Unifor is well positioned to make gains for the grocery workers it represents.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2023.

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