TORONTO, May 1, 2017 /CNW/ - More than 360 workers set up picket lines at a Nestlé Canada manufacturing plant in Toronto this morning after contract negotiations between Unifor Local 252 and the chocolate giant broke down.
"This is a highly profitable multi-national corporation that is relying on the use of temporary agency workers to essentially do full-time work," said Paul Shiels, President of Unifor Local 252. "Our members believe it's unfair to their fellow workers, who do the same job standing shoulder-to-shoulder while being paid less, with no pension and limited benefits."
The workers, who manufacture Kit Kat, Aero, Coffee Crisp and Smarties, have been in a legal strike position since midnight on April 30, but members of the bargaining committee continued to negotiate with the employer until early Monday morning.
"Full-time work should mean a full-time job," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Precarious work, and specifically the use of temporary workers in a permanent full-time capacity, is a growing problem. The Ontario government will have the opportunity to address this issue in its response to the upcoming Changing Workplaces Review and Unifor fully expects it to do so."
In addition to the classification of temporary employees members at Nestlé are also seeking improvements to wages and benefits.
Negotiations are scheduled to resume on Tuesday, May 2, 2017.
"It is our hope to resolve this quickly and reach a fair deal with Nestlé so our members can return to work," said Shiels.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers in every sector of the economy. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O'Keefe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).