UFCW 1006A President Wayne Hanley said that the union had reached the best agreement in the grocery retail sector in decades.
Nearly 26,000 unionized retail grocery workers at Loblaws Great Food, Real Canadian Superstores and Zehrs Great Food stores across Ontario, Canada, have ratified a historic industry-leading collective agreement.
Negotiations for the new agreement began in November between United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Locals 175 and 633 and Local 1006A and Loblaw Cos. The ratified agreement secures historic improvements for the unionized workers at 121 stores in Ontario.
According to the union, the agreement includes the best wage increases in decades for full- and part-time employees, gains that surpass all recent negotiated contracts in the industry. Over the five-year term of the agreement, full-time workers will receive a CAN $4.60-per-hour increase. Department managers will receive a CAN $4.95-per-hour increase over the term of the agreement.
Department heads and full-time employees will also receive a CAN $1,000 lump sum plus retroactive pay from Oct. 1. Full-time associates also have job security through the term of the contract, with job assurance language.
Senior part-timers, who received a CAN 65 cents-per-hour increase in October 2023, will receive an additional CAN $3.70-per-hour increase over the term of the agreement, totaling CAN $4.35 per hour, with a CAN $1.50-per-hour increase within the first seven months. In addition, Locals 175, 633 and 1006A are unique in the industry for negotiating contract language that protects both full- and part-time members’ wage gains as the minimum wage increases.
Full-time grocery workers will make an estimated CAN $36,000 more during the five-year term of the agreement.
Significant improvements to full-time benefits were also achieved. Part-timers additionally received improvements to scheduling availability language and leave-of-absence protection language. Improvements were made to bereavement leave and protection against customer abuse for all members.
“This industry-leading agreement reached in the grocery retail sector is the best in decades,” affirmed UFCW 1006A President Wayne Hanley. “We faced intense and difficult negotiations, but with the strong support and participation of our membership, we achieved an unprecedented level of improvements for our members in the grocery industry.”
“UFCW continues to set the standard for grocery workers across Ontario, with an agreement that includes significant gains for full-time and part-time workers,” added UFCW Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty. “Our union committees were relentless in ensuring the voices and concerns of our members were heard, and this agreement secures good increases right away for our members.”
Union members had the opportunity to vote Dec. 13-16 for Locals 175 and 633, and Dec. 19-22 for Local 1006A.
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UFCW Locals 175 and 633 represent more than 70,000 union members across Ontario, including approximately 42,000 retail workers at Loblaw, Metro and Sobeys banner stores. In addition, UFCW Locals 175 and 633 have thousands more members working in the industrial, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, packinghouse and other sectors.
With 42,000 members, UFCW 1006A is one of Ontario’s largest private-sector local unions in a variety of sectors across Canada. Grocery members work at Loblaws Great Food and Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Your Independent Grocers, Valu-mart, and Organic Garage.
Loblaw Cos. Ltd. operates nearly 2,500 stores and national e-commerce options – including more than 1,050 grocery stores that span the value spectrum from discount to specialty – with 190,000-plus full- and part-time employees, making it one of the country’s largest private-sector employers. The Brampton, Ontario-based company is No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.