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Loblaw’s contract dispute has laid off more than 500 workers in Calgary, the union says

Loblaw’s contract dispute has laid off more than 500 workers in Calgary, the union says

More than 500 workers at a Loblaw distribution center in Calgary will be out of a job this week. That’s according to a union that represents workers.

Amid negotiations for higher wages, Teamsters Local Union 987 said 527 of its 534 local workers were told they would be laid off starting Thursday.

The union has been talking with the food and drug store since the last agreement ended on June 6.

“Not only are a portion of our hourly distribution center workers earning less than the $22.40 acceptable living wage for Calgary, they are also facing layoffs,” said John Taylor, business agent for Teamsters Local Union 987. .

According to Taylor, Loblaw was offering a “fair cash offer” that contained no rules or regulations regarding working conditions. He said the company wouldn’t change anything the union asked for that it didn’t have the money for.

Teamsters Local 987 rejected the employer’s offer on Nov. 3, and rejected the same offer again on Nov. 15, a vote on the proposals that the labor committee oversaw.

In a statement to CBC News, Loblaw vice president of communications Catherine Thomas said her company was disappointed the offer was “narrowly rejected,” and that many colleagues share the sentiment.

“The union’s comments ignore that it was a strong offer of up to 32 percent full-time pay increases and more than 40 percent for part-time colleagues over a five-year period,” Thomas said.

“These are some of the most competitive wages in the industry, with some reaching more than $33 an hour. To be clear, today, roughly two-thirds of Freeport’s full-time employees earn more than $22 an hour, significantly above the minimum wage of $15. “

But Taylor says it’s not just about the money.

“Six years ago, the company removed the working conditions of the language in our agreement… they removed it from the agreement six years ago and we want to restore the language,” he said.

“The offer they made was certainly, I mean, I’m not going to say it was outrageous. It was a fair offer. But again, this company, given its success, could have done better.”

With the offer rejected, Thomas said the company is preparing to stop work at the Freeport Boulevard NE facility.

He said the company has begun moving inventory to other distribution centers so stores can continue to serve customers without interruption.

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