650 kilometres on foot to bring Loblaw to the bargaining table

MONTRÉAL, June 14, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Determined to renew negotiations and to settle three conflicts that continue to drag on, the employees of Loblaws, Maxi and Provigo in Abitibi-Témiscamingue will walk a relay all the way to the giant's headquarters in Brampton, Ontario. "We will cover the entire distance on foot from June 14th to July 2nd to show our determination and our desire to negotiate with Loblaw," declared Serge Fournier, president of the Fédération du commerce of the CSN.

Three labour conflicts without an end in sight

Even before negotiating seriously, Loblaw locked out employees at its Maxi store in Rouyn-Noranda in August 2012. The same treatment was on the menu served by the grocery to unionized employees at the Provigo in Témiscaming in December 2012.  This month, the CSN marks the lamentable first anniversary of the Loblaws strike at Place Rouanda in Rouyn-Noranda. "What is Loblaws waiting for in order to sit down with its workers to settle these conflicts that have deteriorated for months?" asked Véronique De Sève, vice-president of the CSN.

In bad faith

The 250 unionized Provigo workers in Témiscaming - who earn close to the minimum wage (a maximum of $12.40 an hour) and even less at Maxi in Rouyn-Noranda (maximum $11.40 an hour)—are demanding a better quality of working life and the protection of existing rights from this company worth billions of dollars.

Recall that the Québec Superior Court confirmed a decision by the Commission des relations du travail (CRT) last May that accused the employer of interfering with the union's activities, negotiating in bad faith and having violated the workers' freedom of association. In addition to a series of other measures, the CRT ordered Loblaws to award the union $5,000 in punitive damages.

"We will never give in to this employer who has abandoned Abitibi-Témiscamingue, " concluded Donald Rheault, president of the central council of Abitibi-Témiscamingue Nord-du-Québec

Walk for the Negotiations

Press conference: June 14 at 3 p.m.
The walk begins: 3:30 p.m.
Where: Loblaws, 4, 15e Rue, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec

Arrival of the walk: July 2 at noon
Where: Loblaw headquarters, 1 President Choice Circle, Brampton, Ontario

About the CSN

Founded in 1921, the CSN is a trade union federation that works towards a cohesive, democratic, just, fair and sustainable society. To this end, the CSN takes part in many debates that concern Quebeckers. The CSN brings together almost 2,000 unions and represents more than 300,000 workers on a sectoral or professional basis within eight federations, as well as regionally via 13 central councils, primarily in Quebec.



For further information: For information: Martin Robert, Service des communications de la CSN, Cell: 514-773-0060; office: 514-598-2139; Spokespersons: French: Chantal Duhaime; 819-279-3687 (STT Alimentation Place Rouanda CSN); Marcel Bisson; 819-279-1898 (STT Maxi Rouyn-Noranda-CSN); English: Cathy Presseault; 249-358-3217 (STT Provigo Témiscaming-CSN)

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