“After ten weeks the company has not made one single improvement to their initial three-year offer,”: Unifor Assistant to the National President Chris MacDonald.
Dominion worker strike photo via Unifor on twitter
In an indication that Loblaw -- likely fearing that a union victory would set an example for other unionized workers nationwide -- is trying to break the strike by Dominion workers in Newfoundland, two days of talks with Unifor Local 597 have apparently broken down. The 1,400 workers have been striking for 10 weeks seeking fairer pay and employment conditions.
Despite the fact that Loblaw posted $162 million in second quarter net profits, bringing total 2020 profits to nearly half a billion dollars, and that from "March to September, during the first wave of COVID-19, the Weston family’s net worth increased a whopping $1.6 billion dollars," the company appears to be playing hardball. “After ten weeks the company has not made one single improvement to their initial three-year offer,” according to Unifor Assistant to the National President Chris MacDonald.
That offer was resoundingly rejected by the workers.
The Dominion workers will resume pickets and the stores will remain closed.
The company returned to the bargaining table on October 28 only after Unifor 597 had begun "human solidarity" and secondary pickets at non-Dominion locations and distribution centres in the province that are under the Loblaw corporate umbrella.
One of these secondary pickets, at the Weston's Bakery in Mount Pearl, was met with police threats and intimidation on the night of October 27, despite it being entirely peaceful and, according to the union, legal.
Unifor National President Jerry Dias denounced this police action today in a press release stating: “There was no valid reason for any police presence and certainly none to deploy the tactical and riot units to threaten workers with criminal charges at a legal picket line,”
Update: Unifor has now filed a lawsuit against the police for their actions on October 27.