Sobeys and Union reach tentative agreement

Unifor Local 414 and Sobeys Kincardine have reached a tentative collective agreement, covering 138 workers at the store.

“We’ve worked hard to make gains for our Sobeys’ members as Unifor continues its wider work to address systemic issues in retail work, including low pay and precarious work,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Details of the collective agreement will not be released prior to being presented to members for ratification. Membership voting on the new contract will take place in the coming days. 

The pandemic has shown how essential grocery store workers are,” said Gord Currie, President of Unifor Local 414. “I want to congratulate the bargaining committee for their work in obtaining this tentative contract for these frontline COVID heroes.”

According to UNIFOR, COVID-19 cases are at their highest levels but so are Loblaw’s profits. Yet Canada’s largest retail corporation has refused to reinstate ‘pandemic pay’.

“Workers are tired of scraping by, barely able to afford the groceries they stock and sell every day and scrambling through unpredictable schedules with no sick days, while one of Canada’s richest families makes billions in profits.  It’s time Loblaw’s paid these workers a fair wage and reversed the trend of eliminating full-time jobs.”

Unifor says that pandemic wage premiums should be made permanent and that a wage increases for retail workers in long overdue and that they deserve more than low wages and precarious work.

Workers essential to the functioning of the country are living paycheque to paycheque, struggling to cover rent or food costs and are unable to get ahead in order to reduce debt, start a family, or become a home-owner.

UNIFOR says that hazard pay for workers during the pandemic is the minimum that employers can do during these unprecedented times. Employers must commit to permanently improving the living conditions of workers.

Unions and labour activists have been calling for a living wage and better work protections for Canadians for decades.

It’s time for employers to take bold steps toward a living wage for all.