TORONTO, July 10, 2015 /CNW/ - Unifor local 414 has reached a tentative agreement with Metro grocery stores, avoiding a work stoppage that could have begun as early as Sunday morning. The unit includes roughly 4000 workers at 28 stores across the GTA.
"We knew it was time for change, and that we needed to make dramatic changes to our working conditions," said Christine Connor, President of Unifor Local 414. "Our members sent a strong message to Metro that we were determined to get a better deal, and that message was heard loud and clear."
Retail is the largest and fastest growing sector in Canada's economy. But it is also the industry that pays the lowest wages, has the highest turnover and provides the fewest hours of work.
"Looking at where the economy is going and where jobs are being created, Unifor has identified retail as a priority sector for our union, and we knew it started with this round of negotiations at Metro," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
"Not only do we believe that all workers deserve a living wage, fair working conditions and a voice at work - we believe it is possible, and we are committed to make it happen," said Dias.
Unifor is one of the country's largest retail worker unions, with more than 20,000 members working in supermarkets, pharmacies, appliance stores and other retail shops across Canada.
"I am proud of what has been achieved in this round of bargaining, as I know that it will improve our bargaining power in the retail sector as a whole," said Keith Osborne, Unifor National Representative.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.