ST. JOHN'S, NL, Oct. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - Unifor members of Local 597 at Dominion stores across Newfoundland and Labrador have ratified a new three-year collective agreement by 84 per cent. The deal includes annual wage increases for full and part-time employees, benefit improvements and scheduling enhancements among other gains.
"This is a good deal for Dominion workers, and still among the best for unionized retail workers in the province," said Keith Osborne, Unifor Director of Retail.
Senior full-time and part-time workers will receive a $1.00 per hour pay increase over the life of the agreement - as high as a 7% wage increase for some members. Junior part-time workers will also receive negotiated pay increases in each year of the agreement, in addition to previously negotiated pay hikes based on seniority and hours worked.
"Part-time workers in the retail sector always seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to wages and work standards, and we wanted to correct that in this round of bargaining," said Carolyn Wrice, President of Unifor Local 597.
The new agreement also reduces the number of qualifying hours part-time workers need to receive health benefits, provides part-time students the ability to apply for leaves of absence that cover the entire academic year (instead of one semester), offers greater flexibility for full-time workers to apply for new job openings, expands bereavement leave and commits the company to create new full-time jobs within one month of ratification.
"This new contract continues to push the yardsticks forward for supermarket and retail workers in this province, and across Canada," said Unifor National Staff Representative Wayne Butler. "With each contract we bargain, we are raising expectations among workers and that's a good thing."
The union also successfully negotiated a Unifor Women's Advocate position, a trained union member who is made available to assist women facing situations of domestic violence and abuse, and to connect them with community and workplace resources.
The new agreement will expire in April 2019.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.
To download the Unifor's Women's Advocate program booklet, visit:
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications Representative Shelley Amyotte at [email protected] or 902-717-7491 (cell)