Third major grocery store could strike soon in Ontario

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Published November 17, 2023 at 2:19 pm

Food Basics workers could strike ontario

Workers at another well-known grocery chain have voted in favour of possible strike action. 

The United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union recently announced that Food Basics members voted 99.5 per cent in favour of a strike mandate.

RELATED: Strike averted with Grocery store chain in Ontario as tentative deal reached

A family member speaking on behalf of a Food Basics employee told insauga.com in an email that “200 stores” will close as of Dec. 1. insauga.com is still working to confirm this statement. 

The family member said grievances include financial concerns and “bad treatment.” 

In a news release, the union said strike votes took place at 11 locations across Ontario on Nov. 12. 

While the members have voted in favour of strike action, it does not necessarily mean a strike is imminent. 

“A strong strike vote mandate means that the Union Negotiating Committee can return to bargaining with a clear and strong message for the employer: Food Basics members are ready to take action if a fair agreement cannot be reached,” the union said in a statement. 

“A strike vote does not mean that a strike will absolutely happen, but members should prepare for that possibility.” 

The union says the Food Basics Collective Agreement, which expired on Aug. 19, 2023, covers approximately 7,350 bargaining unit members at 114 stores in Ontario. The first round of bargaining began in August and the union requested conciliation services from the province’s Ministry of Labour in early November. 

The union says its negotiating committee broke off talks on Nov. 3 due to the “employer’s proposals to seek concessions in the contract and inexcusable wage offers.” 

Food Basics, operated by Metro, is not the first grocery chain to engage in job action. More than 1,200 Unifor members at Loblaw-owned No Frills stores could be on strike starting next week if the highly profitable corporation refuses to address workers’ demands for decent pay and work amidst a Canadian affordability crisis.

Reports say the strike could impact 17 No Frills locations.

Insauga.com has reached out to Metro and the union for further comment. 

Update:

A union representative told insauga.com that the union is still negotiating with Food Basics.

“No strike deadlines have been set at this time as the parties continue bargaining,” the representative said.

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