Alberta’s United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 401 reached a tentative agreement with Loblaw Companies Limited on its second day of striking.
About 8,500 employees representing 55 Real Canadian Superstore and Real Canadian Liquorstore locations went on strike Oct. 6 after the union rejected parent company Loblaw’s settlement offer. UFCW Local 401 said the offer failed to address reduced hours and wages for employees and began labour action when contract talks broke down.
Only a few hours into the second day of striking, a deal was reached at 4 a.m. on Oct. 7. The union told its members the tentative agreement was reached following around-the-clock negotiations.
“The agreement offers hope to Superstore employees for their coming years of employment. The union negotiating committee is unanimously recommending the settlement and immediate arrangements will be made to give union members across the province a chance to vote on the deal,” the union said. “The new agreement will present employees with a number of significant improvements over and above the company’s last offer. We strongly believe that these improvements will bring new hope to employment at Superstores and Liquorstores.”
UFCW Local 401 encouraged its members to maintain the picket lines until the deal was finalized, saying it is important to show Loblaw that the union is committed to “bargaining strong together.”
Loblaw said it was “pleased” to reach an agreement and that all of its stores throughout Alberta would remain open.
The deal needs to be ratified by workers, with voting to take place on Oct. 8.
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