Grocery store and commercial workers across British Columbia will vote this week on whether or not to accept a new collective agreement or issue a strike notice against Loblaws.
Loblaws owns and operates 28 affected Superstore locations along with three distribution warehouses in B.C.
Nearly 10,000 workers and members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Local 247) started voting on the long weekend and the ballots will be counted on Friday.
“At the bargaining table, our committee was clear to the company that, while this is a substantially improved company offer, if it is turned down, we will be supporting our members’ decision by issuing strike notice and setting up picket lines,” said Dan Goodman, president of UFCW Local 247, in a statement.
The offer poses a larger wage increase for long-term, senior employees along with an improved and unified wage scale benefiting 6,500 employees, major scheduling improvements for part-time employees, and expanded night shift premiums. Also in the offer is 112 new full-time positions and signing bonuses for all employees.
“This contract is all about pay, fairness, and equity for our members,” said Goodman.
“These are inflationary times, and our members have been called pandemic heroes. We all see what groceries are costing these days, and our members are putting those items on the shelves.”
If members vote to strike, the union will serve notice on the company and account the timing and nature of employee walkouts.
Ballots will be posted online on the union's website.