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Superstore readies for strike

Employees at one of Thunder Bay's largest retail and grocery store are getting ready for a crucial strike vote this weekend. More than 300 employees at the Real Canadian Superstore will vote this weekend to give their UFCW union a strike mandate.
Employees at one of Thunder Bay's largest retail and grocery store are getting ready for a crucial strike vote this weekend.

More than 300 employees at the Real Canadian Superstore will vote this weekend to give their UFCW union a strike mandate.

The Superstore is owned by southern Ontario-based Loblaw Companies Limited. Workers there have been without a contract since March of 2009. Negotiations between the company and the United Food and Commercial Workers union broke down about three weeks ago.

UFCW Local 1000-A President Kevin Corporon said the last offer was very unreasonable and unacceptable to their bargaining committee. He added that the union is recommending the workers vote in favour of giving them a strike mandate.

"The employer is looking for things that the bargaining committee feels is unreasonable," Corporon said. "They want a very long-term contract with little increases and some concessions. That’s been a very profitable store and the workers have helped make it that way and they are looking for a fair deal."

The vote will be held Sunday night at the Valhalla Inn for both full- and part-time employees at the Superstore.

Corporon said if the vote is in favour of giving the union a strike mandate, the braining committee will call on a conciliation officer to see if the company is willing to come back to the table.

Officials with Loblaw were unavailable for comment Friday.

The last time UFCW members went on the picket lines in Thunder Bay was in 2001 at the three local Safeway stores. That bitter strike ended up lasting 16 months.






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