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Loblaw had vowed to keep all its stores open in southwestern Ontario despite having its latest contract offer rejected by union members. ((Nathan Denette/Canadian Press))

Workers at a major grocery chain in southwestern Ontario will walk off the job at midnight Friday, on the eve of Thanksgiving weekend.

Approximately 1,800 unionized workers at nine Loblaw chain stores in Essex, Kent and Lambton counties rejected a tentative agreement reached with the company on Oct. 2.

Stores planning to strike

  • Zehrs Malden — LaSalle
  • Zehrs Parkway Mall — Windsor
  • Zehrs St. Clair Beach — Tecumseh
  • Zehrs — Kingsville
  • Real Canadian Superstore — Chatham
  • Real Canadian Superstore — Leamington
  • Real Canadian Superstore — Sarnia
  • Real Canadian Superstore Walker — Windsor
  • Real Canadian Superstore Dougall — Windsor

They represent just some of the 30,000 Loblaw employees who had threatened to walk off the job if the sides could not come to a deal.

All but the 1,800 employees in southwestern Ontario ratified the agreement and will continue to work as normal.

Those set to strike are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 175 and 6333.

They rejected the contract by a slim margin.

The agreement covers the group of grocery stores that fall under the Loblaw name, including Zehrs, Real Canadian Superstore and Fortinos.

The company had vowed to keep all its stores open despite having its offer rejected by some of its workers.

No new contract talks are scheduled.