Moose Jaw Co-op strike ends after agreement reached

Roughly 400 unionized workers at Moose Jaw's Co-op stores will be back on the job Thursday.

Workers had been on strike for more than 30 days, no end in sight to Saskatoon strike

Unionized workers at Moose Jaw's Co-op stores will be back on the job Thursday. (Don Somers/CBC)

Roughly 400 unionized workers at Moose Jaw's Co-op stores will be back on the job Thursday.

On Wednesday, the United Food and Commercial Workers union reached a deal with the Co-op.

"We're pleased an agreement was reached that was fair to both parties," Co-op general manager Gerry Onyskevitch said in a news release.

Workers served strike notice on October 2. 

The new agreement preserves a two-tier wage structure between longer-term employees and those hired more recently. However, the agreement reduces the wage difference between the two groups of workers.

Co-op says the wage structure "was critical to the long-term competitveness" of the business.

The Moose Jaw agreement does not extend to another strike against Co-op stores in Saskatoon, Warman, Martensville, Colonsay and Watrous. Both sides in that dispute remain at a stalemate and have no further negotiations scheduled until November 29.

UFCW said Co-op's offer in Saskatoon would lower wages across 77 per cent of job classifications, including people with mental disabilities on work placements as grocery attendants.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said that Moose Jaw Co-op employees were locked out. They were not.
    Nov 08, 2018 9:36 AM CT
  • A previous version of this story said the new agreement had scrapped two tiers of wages moving forward. In fact, the agreement includes a two-tiered wage structure.
    Nov 07, 2018 12:05 PM CT