Saskatoon Co-op picketers affecting nearby small business, owner says

Supplement World Saskatoon has had a run of slow business days. Saskatoon Co-op employees have been striking since Nov 1, often in front of Josh McGowan's store on Ludlow Street.

The strike is in its second week in Saskatoon

Striking Saskatoon Co-op employees pose outside the gas bar in University Heights. (Chelsea Laskowski/CBC News)

Supplement World Saskatoon has had a run of slow business days. 

Josh McGowan leases space for his supplement store in a building on Ludlow Street owned by Co-op. 

Saskatoon Co-op employees have been striking since November 1. Strikers expect the bargaining process to be long. 

At times, picketers have blocked entrance to the parking lot McGowan's business shares. 

"Some people who did come in said they were told to shop elsewhere, or they were told that store pays rent to Co-op so you shouldn't go there," said McGowan.

He said not every picketer has been difficult and called for mutual respect.

"Some of the people driving by can probably respect the picketers a little more, too. I think if people just respect each other there should be no issue."

Supplement World has another location in the Stonebridge neighbourhood, near a Co-op property, and employees say there are picketers nearby, but the store has not been affected.

'You're just hurting someone else'

McGowan said he does not agree with the sentiment that crossing a picket line means you automatically don't stand with the picketers.

"You're crossing a line of people but not crossing what they're standing for by going into another business. You're just hurting somebody else who is trying to make a living, who has nothing to do with the issue at hand."

He says the "behaviours" of picketers have escalated over the last few days.

"It definitely turned a few customers away."

His hope is that once picketers realize the effect on his business, they will adjust.