LETHBRIDGE: ****Up-DATE as of 7:00 Monday morning.
A tentative deal has been reach in the strike by workers at
Loblaw Companies Real Canadian Superstore and Real Canadian Liquorstore
locations in Alberta. Union members will vote on the
proposed agreement tomorrow, with UFCW Canada Local 401 leaders saying they
will recommend approval of the proposed contract.
However, union members will remain off the job for now.
Employees at Alberta's 28 Real Canadian Superstores hit the picket lines
just after mid-night Sunday morning. That includes the Lethbridge store on
Mayor Magrath Dive south.
Superstore is owned by Loblaw Companies Ltd and employees more than 8500
people at its Alberta locations. Those employees are members of the United Food
and Commercial Workers union, which represents more than 200,000 workers in
supermarkets, packing houses, warehouses, bakeries, restaurants and other food
related services across Canada.
On Sunday afternoon, almost two dozen employees wearing white 'on strike'
banners were outside in front of the Mayor Magrath Drive location. Local union representative Bill Bennett,
noted, "There are about 215 employees impacted by the strike here in
While stores remained open, Bennett said they are being operated by managers,
which means there will be few tills open and limited service. Outside the
store, some strikers approached shoppers to let them know why they were
striking and urged them to shop elsewhere. Some of the shoppers continued into
the store while others returned to their vehicles and drove away.
employees had a collective agreement that expired in August 2012. They have been bargaining since January of this
year and workers across the province voted 93 per cent in favour of strike
action several weeks ago.
On Sunday, Bennett said the two sides were still far apart on some key issues
which include slashed work hours. He
says the majority of employees are already part time and a further reduction in
their work hours is hurting them.
Loblaw has previously stated that reduced employee hours were undertaken to
cut company costs.
In mid July, it was announced Loblaw, Canada's largest grocery retailer,
would buy Shopper's Drug Mart, the country's biggest pharmacy chain, for $12.4