The union representing hundreds of workers at a Calgary Loblaws warehouse accepted a deal with their employers hours before they were to be locked out of work.
Teamsters Local Union 987 members have agreed to accept an offer from grocery giant Loblaws on November 25th. The agreement comes just hours before a lockout notice was to be enforced Friday at the companies’ Calgary Freeport Facility, a news release from the union said Saturday.
Union representatives were not available for comment Saturday. Details of the agreement were not provided.
Sixty-six percent of voting members agreed to the final offer from Loblaws.
More than 500 employees were laid off when the two sides negotiated a contract after their previous collective agreement expired in June. It was not immediately clear whether the new agreement would result in the 500 affected employees being restored to their jobs.
Loblaws could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday.
The two sides were unable to reach an agreement before Friday after the union rejected several offers from the employer that would have seen workers receive significant pay increases. A team representative previously told Postmedia that pay was not the issue, but rather the transfer structure had caused an impasse.
John Taylor, business agent for Local 987 and spokesperson for the negotiating committee, previously told Postmedia that in the last collective bargaining agreement in 2016, seniority in shift scheduling as well as a guarantee of consecutive days off were negotiated out of the agreement and the union. want to see their return.
“It’s the quality of life, basically, when it comes down to it. Someone has to work the shitty shifts, right? But usually it’s the junior people,” he said. “That’s a lot about it. It’s not about money.”
A previous deal was rejected in early November with 76 percent of members voting against the offer. A second agreement was agreed on 15 November.
Earlier this week, the employer issued a layoff notice to more than 500 of the 534 members who work at the site. These redundancies would be enforced from Friday 25 November.
Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tweeted Friday that he stands in solidarity with the Calgary workers. Members of his party have repeatedly called for action against rising grocery prices amid record high inflation.
“My message to Loblaws: Stop busting unions and treat your workers with respect,” Singh tweeted.
– With files from Josh Aldrich