On Jan. 2, nearly 26,000 grocery workers at Loblaws Great Food, Real Canadian Superstores and Zehrs Great Food stores across Ontario, Canada, ratified a historic industry-leading contract that strengthens wages and benefits.
Negotiations for the new agreement began in November between UFCW Locals 175, 633 and 1006A and Loblaw Companies. The ratified agreement secures historic improvements for the unionized workers at 121 stores in Ontario.
The five-year contract includes significant wage increases. Full-time workers will receive a $4.60 per hour increase over the term of the agreement, making an estimated $36,000 more during the five-year term of the agreement. Department managers will receive a $4.95 per hour increase over the term of the agreement. Department Heads and full-time workers will also receive a $1,000 lump sum plus retroactive pay from October 1, 2023. Full-time workers also have job security through the term of the contract with job assurance language.
Senior part-time workers, who received a $0.65 per hour increase in October 2023, will receive an additional $3.70 per hour increase over the term of the agreement, totaling $4.35 per hour, with $1.50 per hour increase within the first seven months. In addition, UFCW Locals 175, 633, and 1006A are unique in the industry for negotiating contract language that protects both full-time and part-time members’ wage gains as the minimum wage increases.
Significant improvements were also achieved to full-time benefits. Part-time workers also achieved improvements to scheduling availability language and leave of absence protection language. Improvements were made to bereavement leave and protection against customer abuse for all members.
“This industry-leading agreement reached in the grocery retail sector is the best in decades,” said UFCW Local 1006A President Wayne Hanley. “We faced intense and difficult negotiations, but with the strong support and participation of our membership, we achieved an unprecedented level of improvements for our members in the grocery industry.”
“UFCW continues to set the standard for grocery workers across Ontario with an agreement that includes significant gains for full-time and part-time workers,” said UFCW Canada National Director Shawn Haggerty. “Our union committees were relentless in ensuring the voices and concerns of our members were heard, and this agreement secures good increases right away for our members.”