Metro Workers Ratify New Deal
July 26, 2011, 10:00 AM EST
CAW members working at Metro supermarkets in Ontario have ratified a new collective agreement that includes wage and benefit increases, pension improvements as well as new workplace safety language, and other gains.
The union reached a tentative settlement with Quebec-based Metro supermarkets on July 15. Ratification meetings were held across the Greater Toronto Area on July 24. The agreement was ratified by a margin of 67 per cent.
CAW Local 414 President Christine Connor considered this a "very challenging" round of negotiations, which still yielded some positive results for the members. Connor commended the hard work of the bargaining committee for negotiating a good deal.
"Metro came into these talks with a grab-bag of concessionary demands that were baseless and insulting to our members," Connor said, noting employer proposals to kill the holiday bonus, contract out bargaining unit work to supplier companies and remove department heads from the bargaining unit.
"Our committee negotiated those demands off the table, which gave us room to bargain some reasonable improvements to the agreement."
Over the life of the four-year agreement, full-time and part-time workers will receive wage increases in the form of lump sum payments (in years one and three), as well as hourly wage increases to the top end of the wage scale (in years two and four). Yearly allowances for health care and dental benefits were increased, as were future service pension credits for full-time and part-time workers.
The union also secured a commitment from the employer to conduct a joint review of policies, practices and procedures regarding workplace violence and harassment. In addition, the company agreed to review those resources available for issues related to women's advocacy.
This is the second collective agreement negotiated between the union and company since Metro purchased A&P/Dominion Stores in 2005.
CAW Local 414 represents 14,000 retail workers across the province of Ontario.