Saskatoon Co-op employees to vote on new offer after 2-month-long strike

Saskatoon Co-op has tabled a new offer, which employees will vote on this Friday.

Employees have been on strike since Nov. 1; will vote on latest offer Friday

Saskatoon Co-op employees have been on strike since Nov. 1. They will vote on a new offer on Friday. (Don Somers/CBC)

The lengthy strike over a two-tiered wage system at the Saskatoon Co-op may soon be over.

A new offer was presented to employees on Thursday. Employees will vote on it Friday.

"We encourage our employees to take this opportunity to vote," Co-op CEO Grant Wicks said in a press release. "Their union and our Co-op have had honest, productive discussions to arrive at this offer."

Workers in United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1400 voted Nov. 1 to strike over a proposed two-tiered wage structure. Under the proposal, current workers' wages and benefits would have stayed the same, while new hires would have been put on a different contract with less pay and lower benefits.

According to the Thursday press release, the new offer includes a revised version of the two-tier wage structure.

As employees started hitting the picket lines in November, UFCW Local 1400 negotiator Rod Gillies said that under Co-op's offer at the time, some new hires would be making up to $4.60 less per hour than existing employees doing the same work.

The strike is the first by Saskatoon Co-op employees since 1983.