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Metro workers reach deal, Sobeys strike continues




A Metro store is seen Monday, April 15, 2019 in Ste-Therese, Que., north of Montreal. Workers at a Metro distribution centre in Ontario have voted in favour of a new deal while workers at a Sobeys warehouse in Quebec have rejected the grocer's latest offer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

A Metro store is seen Monday, April 15, 2019 in Ste-Therese, Que., north of Montreal. Workers at a Metro distribution centre in Ontario have voted in favour of a new deal while workers at a Sobeys warehouse in Quebec have rejected the grocer’s latest offer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Workers at a Metro distribution centre in Ontario have voted in favour of a new deal while workers at a Sobeys warehouse in Quebec have rejected the grocer’s latest offer.

More than 900 workers at Metro Inc.’s Toronto-area distribution centre ratified a new four-and-a-half-year collective agreement Friday, ending a one-week strike.

Unifor said Metro warehouse workers in Etobicoke will receive an average wage increase of 15.8 per cent over the lifetime of the new 4.5-year deal.

The union said the new collective agreement also includes higher shift premiums for freezer work, a shortened wage progression to reach the top rate, improvements to pensions and benefits and no concessions.

“This collective agreement achieves the best maximum pay rate and fastest progression in the industry,” Unifor Ontario regional director Naureen Rizvi said in a statement.

“There is no doubt that it will raise the bar for warehouse workers across Ontario.”

Carmen Fortino, executive vice-president and division head for Metro in Ontario, said in a statement the company and the union reached a “fair and reasonable” deal that maintains competitive working conditions for employees.

Meanwhile, 190 workers at a Sobeys distribution centre in Terrebonne, Que., remain on strike after turning down the grocer’s latest offer.

Kim Bergeron, a lawyer representing UFCW Canada’s Local 501, said workers rejected a tentative agreement Friday with 69 per cent voting against a proposed new deal.

Pay and benefits remain the key sticking point, she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 11, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:EMP.A, TSX:MRU)




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