BRAMPTON, ON, July 2, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Since mid-june, unionised employees, lockouted or on strike from Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Québec, have been walking 650 km to Loblaw's headquarters in Brampton, Ontario. « To prove as far as we are ready to get to negotiate with Loblaw, we have walked through hundreds of kilometres. We won't give up! », stated Serge Fournier, president of the Fédération du commerce-CSN.
Three never-ending work conflicts
Just before a real negotiation took place, Loblaw lockouted his employees of Rouyn-Noranda' Maxi in August 2012. The food giant did the same to his unionised employees of Provigo in Témiscaming, in December 2012. Then, one year ago, as Loblaw refused to negotiate in good faith, workers from Place Rouanda's Loblaw, in Rouyn-Noranda, went on strike.
« What is Loblaw waiting to sit down with us and to solve these conflicts that are disrupting for too long the lives of Rouyn-Noranda and Temiscaming workers and citizens? » asks Véronique De Sève, CSN vice-president.
Sit-in in front of Loblaw's headquarters
Employees in conflict organized a sit-in in front of Loblaw's headquarters, hoping to be heard. « In 2014, unions and employers should be able to talk to each other and to negotiate in good faith. If Loblaws keeps on showing such a bad faith, we will let everyone know», said Donald Rheault, president of the Conseil central de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue-Nord-du-Québec.
The 250 unionised employees, earning close to the minimum wage in Témiscaming's Provigo (maximum 12,40 $ per hour), and even less in Rouyn-Noranda's Maxi (maximum 11,40 $ per hour), claim for a better life quality and to secure gains.
It is worth repeating that Superior Court of Québec confirmed last may a decision taken by Quebec Labour Relations Board that blamed the employer to hobble union's activities, to negociate in bad faith and to interfere with the right to freedom of association. In addition to other corrective actions, Quebec Labour Relations Board ordered that Loblaws pays 5000 $ to the union as punitive damages.
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: Philippe Leclerc, Communications, CSN, Cell: 514-216-9097