Toronto

Ontario Food Terminal strike holds up traffic in Etobicoke

A strike outside the Ontario Food Terminal is holding up traffic on the eastbound lanes of The Queensway in Etobicoke this morning.

Newly unionized employees of Fresh Taste Produce still seeking first contract

Tempers flared as employees of Fresh Taste Produce picketed outside the Ontario Food Terminal Thursday morning. 0:22

A strike outside the Ontario Food Terminal is holding up traffic on the eastbound lanes of The Queensway in Etobicoke this morning.

Employees of Fresh Taste Produce, which supplies produce to retailers such Metro and Sobey's, formed a small picket line outside the terminal shortly after midnight. The union representing the workers, Teamsters Local 419, said the workers have just joined the union but have yet to reach a first contract.

"We're on strike for a first agreement," union representative Ken Dean told CBC News at the scene.

"Their wages are far below what we believe is an industry standard here. We've got about 300 members at the terminal and these guys are far below that."

According to Dean, most of the details of the contract have been hammered out, "but we've reached an impasse on the monetary issues."

About 20 workers held signs and blocked traffic trying to get into the terminal in the early morning hours Thursday. At one point, a car wanting to get into the terminal drove through the picket

According to a notice from the Ontario Food Terminal Board to tenants and buyers, a "picket protocol" will allow the terminal to operate "with minimum disruptions to the users of the facility."

The notice sets out how often cars will be let into the entrances. The protocol allows for a line of cars to reach 150 feet past the corner of Parklawn Road and the Queensway before cars can be allowed into the terminal.

Toronto police tweeted early this morning that commuters should expect traffic delays in the area.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.