Zellers Workers Picket Brampton Distribution Facility as Efforts to Restart Contract Talks Fail

    TORONTO, Aug. 18 /CNW/ - Hundreds of striking Zellers warehouse workers
will set up picket lines for the second time at the company's Brampton
distribution centre today (August 18) as efforts to restart contract talks at
the Scarborough facility have failed.

    Mass picket and demonstration in support of striking Zellers workers
    When:     Today (August 18, 2009) @ 9:30 a.m.
    Where:    Demonstrations will take place at the rear entrance gate of the
              Brampton distribution centre
              8875 Torbram Road
              Brampton, Ontario
              (At the corner of Summerlea Rd. and Gateway Blvd.)

    The over 300 warehouse workers, employed at the Zellers distribution
centre in Scarborough and represented by CAW Local 1000, were forced out on
strike July 16 after the company refused to negotiate beyond a series of
extensive contract concessions. Concessions include wage cuts of $8 per hour,
the elimination of seniority rights for job postings, a new two-tiered system
for vacation entitlements, the elimination of severance pay language and the
increased use of temporary agency workers, among other demands.
    "Many of the products our members in Scarborough handle have been
relocated to the Brampton facility," said Bob Orr, CAW Assistant to National
President Ken Lewenza. "Our picket lines will be set up indefinitely, until
the company agrees to get back to bargaining with our committee."
    A series of CAW-led public demonstrations over the past four weeks
brought the company back to the bargaining table on Monday August 17, although
Zellers refused to move away from its take-it-or-leave-it offer for major
concessions. Talks have since broken off, with no future dates scheduled.
    This is the first round of collective bargaining for the Zellers
warehouse workers since HBC was purchased by U.S.-based private equity firm
NRDC Equity Partners in 2008. In the 25 years prior to that, labour relations
between the company and its workers at the Scarborough facility were
relatively stable, with only one minor labour dispute in 1986.
    Workers at the Scarborough facility represent a diverse range of cultures
and ethnicities, with many workers representing South-East Asian, African,
Caribbean and Pilipino communities in Toronto.

For further information:

For further information: Bob Orr, Assistant to CAW National President
Ken Lewenza, (cell) (416) 471-2664 or Angelo DiCaro, CAW Communications, (416)

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