By Robb M. Stewart

Nestle Canada doesn't expect the availability of KitKat chocolate bars, Smarties and other items on store shelves to be immediately effected after hundreds of workers at its Toronto plant walked off the job over the weekend.

The food company said its goal is to have employees return to work and it continues to aim for collective agreement that ensures operations at its Toronto factory remain competitive in what is a increasingly challenging workplace.

Workers went on strike Sunday after contract negotiations held in recent weeks between the Canadian arm of the Swiss company and Unifor, the union representing 461 production and maintenance employees, broke down. Unifor said its members decided to strike over a lack of improvements to their pension plan, a two-year cost of living adjustment freeze and concerns about the length of time it takes employees to get to the top rate of pay at the plant.

The striking workers include machine operators, bar packers, shippers and receivers, general laborers and workers in skilled trades. The plant produces KitKat, Aero and Coffee Crisp chocolate bars and Smarties.

Unifor, Canada's largest union in the private sector, said it doesn't have any planned negotiation dates with the company.

Write to Robb M. Stewart at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-06-24 0957ET