Loblaws workers OK new contract

Workers at nine Loblaws grocery stores in southwestern Ontario have voted in favour of a new collective agreement.

Workers at nine southwestern Ontario stores in the Loblaws supermarket group have voted in favour of a new collective agreement.

Roughly 1,700 unionized employees at the stores in Windsor, Essex County, Sarnia and Chatham took part in a government-supervised re-vote on Thursday and Friday. They voted 68 per cent in favour of accepting the deal.

Stores covered in vote

  • 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.

More than 30,000 employees voted Oct. 7 on a tentative agreement between Canada's largest supermarket operator and the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents the workers at Loblaws, No Frills, Zehrs, Real Canadian Superstore and other chains in the Loblaw Cos. enterprise.

All but the 1,700 workers in southwestern Ontario, members of Locals 175 and 633, approved the contract.

Those who rejected it were poised to hit the picket line when their union reached an 11th-hour compromise with the company that averted a strike on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The move angered many union members, who told CBC News they had made their opinions on the offer clear when they voted. They said they felt ignored by the UFCW leadership.

Under the Labour Relations Act, the company can request one government supervised re-vote on the same offer. If the offer is rejected a second time, the company and the union must return to the bargaining table before another supervised vote can take place.