Food Basics workers at grocery stores across Ontario are warning customers of a pre-Thanksgiving September 29 strike deadline.
“More than 85% of our Food Basics members are in part-time positions, making barely above the minimum wage with no paid sick days,” said Gord Currie, President of Unifor Local 414. “Despite the fact that these workers remained on the frontline throughout the pandemic, now Food Basics wants to eliminate the highest paid full-time jobs in these stores and offer the rest substandard wages.”
This week, Food Basics members are handing out reusable grocery bags containing an information postcard to inform customers of the potential labour disruption.
Unifor Local 414 represents more than 1,400 workers at 20 southern Ontario Food Basics stores. Negotiations with the company are scheduled to resume Monday September 27, with a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday September 29, 2021.
The union and the company remain far apart on critical issues raised by members, including wages, benefits, sick leave and full-time job creation. Most concerning is an attempt by the company to seek major concessions including the elimination of all Department Heads, the highest paid positions in the bargaining unit.
Unifor has told the company, in clear terms, that this is unacceptable, unwarranted and insulting at a time when Food Basics parent company Metro is earning record profits.