Thousands of grocery store workers walked off the job on Saturday, July 29, 2023.
Around 3700 members of UNIFOR Local 414 shuttered operations at 27 locations, with several in our area, including the GTA, Brantford and Oakville.
It was a rainy day to be out picketing, but that didn’t stop Metro grocery store workers at the South Oakville Shopping Center.
“We want a living wage where we can survive. A lot of our members cannot eat. They are going to food banks. It’s ridiculous,” said Kim Coughlin, a grocery manager with Metro for 23 years.
Workers rejected the collective bargaining deal between UNIFOR and Metro.
National President of UNFIOR Lana Payne was out on the picket lines in Toronto. “Jobs being erodes, too much part time work, families,” said Payne. “The employees spoke, it’s not big enough for a living wage.”
Metro’s website says it has annual sales of more than $19 billion, and is a food and pharmacy leader in Ontario and Quebec, providing employment to over 95,000 people. They also operate food basics which remains open.
“The company has been negotiating with the union for the past few weeks and reached a fair and equitable agreement that meets the needs of our employees and our customers.” said Metro in a statement. “The settlement provided significant increases for employees in all four years of the agreement, as well as pension and benefits improvements for all employees, including part-time employees.”
Although all of the stores are closed, the locations that have a pharmacy will be allowed to dispense prescriptions to their customers.