"Loblaw must come to the table prepared to raise wages and improve working conditions for these grocery store workers," said
The union said contract talks are ongoing, but that workers are prepared to strike to back their demands.
No Frills is the discount grocery banner owned by
This round of bargaining is the first with a major grocery chain for
Those workers rejected the first deal their union reached with the employer, then went on strike for five weeks before a second deal was reached.
"The Metro round of bargaining was a huge test for the union. And in the end,
"I think that should send a very clear signal to No Frills that the union is not going to roll over."
The Metro agreement is now an industry-leading contract, said Savage.
"You can bet that other grocery store workers will want the same or better."
In the press release Thursday, the union said No Frills workers are demanding similar gains to those the Metro workers received.
However, she provided a statement attributed to Aylmer No Frills owner
The average hourly wage for the full-time workers is
On Wednesday, Loblaw reported a third-quarter profit of
“Our Maxi and No Frills stores led the way, generating double-digit growth again this quarter,” said chairman
The grocer and its competitors have come under scrutiny for continuing to see profits rise while food inflation soared across the country. Higher interest rates have added more costs for many even as inflation has waned.
For many workers, minimum wage isn't enough to survive, said Savage: "There has to be a recognition that the cost of living crisis needs to be addressed through significant wage increases across the board."
Workers are fed up with the disparity between their pay and Loblaw's profits amid the growing cost of living, said
"You know it’s bad when workers at Canada’s largest grocery store chain are struggling to afford their own food, even at discount stores like No Frills," he said.
The striking Metro workers received a lot of public support, noted Savage, and it's likely people will show the same support for No Frills workers if they go on strike given current public perception of the grocers, especially Loblaw.
"Over the course of the pandemic, and since the pandemic, it's not exactly a company that has endeared itself to the public," he said.
"There won't be much public support for Loblaws going into a strike with workers who are looking for a wage increase in order to meet their basic needs."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published
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