• authored by cointoss
  • published Tue, Jun 24, 2003

zehrs 1977 offer

we get a job at rcss. ft buy-down of 75 grand max ( 3 weeks per year) pt 10, grand max . sundays are part of your week. max 5 weeks vacation. no xmas bonus etc..

  • posted by sleK
  • Tue, Jun 24, 2003 9:30am


  • posted by HJFinnamore
  • Tue, Jun 24, 2003 10:48am

Ain't it amazing!? You get to buy a job or "FO" with a pocket full of change. The full-time jobs will get split into part time, and the UFCW dues receipts will go up and up. The company makes money and the UFCW makes money.

That was the conclusion of an Alberta Vice Chair.

I'm astounded (not really) that the UFCW has again taken the stand that, "you must capitulate to the employer's demands. To do otherwise would be disaster." What the F&%# good is the UFCW if its only strategy is to give in?

What is equally as galling is the fact that the deal was done without input from the Power Source. The UFCW is comming back to ask permission to implement a deal that it has agreed to.

If you'll recall, the secret contract signed by the UFCW for Superstores in BC, I'd wonder whether the deal is actually signed.

One has to remember that the law doesn't require ratification. The only documents which do are the UFCW consitution and policies, but we know that they don't seem to apply to UFCW Canada very much.

Loblaw, for the moment needs the UFCW to control its employees while its master plan is carried out. When the plan is securely in place, there will be no need for the UFCW by Loblaw or its employees. The unionization of the retail food industry is nearing an end.

However, the end won't come before the pigs at the trough collect their multiple pensions, free cars and huge amounts of cash.

Within 10 years, Wal-Mart, Safeway, Overwaitea, Sobeys will all be the same. They'll pay dirt wages and all be non union.

Oh, and BTW cointoss, part-time will be the norm and top-rate full-timers will face lives of misery so they quit. Top rate is a liability.

When the Burnaby RCSS opened its number was 1518. That's because Loblaw wasn't sure that they would get their own local, so they named it after the union local whose contract its viability was costed against.

RCSS had a saying, "you're here for a good time, not a long time." From where I stood they got half of it right. Close to 10,000 employees churned through the Vancouver area stores in the first three or four years.

  • posted by PEACHES
  • Tue, Jun 24, 2003 6:47pm

This '1977 thing' was a mandate, that was passed by votes of 85% and 90% at two locations last evening. One could say that the 'no unions future' is here and it was just avoided. The UFCW negotiated a deal that will keep thousands of workers in the retail industry unionized. That is good.
The kicker is that we need to go out and organize these Walmart dummies. Does the UFCW have a plan for this?
I hope so.

  • posted by sleK
  • Tue, Jun 24, 2003 7:32pm

Maybe I'm missing something, but how exactly is negotiating concessions "good" for workers?

  • posted by siggy
  • Tue, Jun 24, 2003 7:37pm

Welcome peaches for sure.


The UFCW negotiated a deal that will keep thousands of workers in the retail industry unionized.

Well that's a mouthful.

For sure they signed a deal that keeps retail unionized, tell us what the members/workers get out of it? What is the deal?

Correct me if I'm wrong but are you suggesting as long as a worker is in a union workplace, then it doesn't matter what the workers get?

Tell wal-workers the advantage to being union will ya'? Let me rephrase that, can you tell wal-workers the advantage to belonging to ufcw?

  • posted by weiser
  • Tue, Jun 24, 2003 10:16pm

The UFCW negotiated a deal that will drop retail grocery workers to Wal-Mart levels. This deal is only the beginning.

How can the UFCW organize Wal-Mart when they have nothing to offer Wal-Mart employees?

The Real Canadian Superstores operate with 10% or less full-timers. Welcome to part time and welcome to no benefits.

UFCW gets double dues and sometimes near triple dues when a full-time job is split into three part-time jobs.

The company threatens and the UFCW caves immediately. The cook a deal and once it's cooked they vote the members tellin' them that they saved their lives, so they'd best vote yes.

Tell me again why having the UFCW represent you is such a good idea. Bargaining backwards isn't a good reason if you ask me.

Bargaining backwards during a collective agreement is even stupider. Giving concessions to a company that's rolling in dough with no Wal-Mart Supercenter in site is sooooooo inept and soooooo impotent.

  • posted by siggy
  • Tue, Jun 24, 2003 10:20pm


The kicker is that we need to go out and organize these Walmart dummies.


Correct me where I err again, but it isn't wal-workers paying dues to get screwed over, they get screwed over for free.

  • posted by Duffbeer
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 12:16am

Well according to the Local 1977 FAQ's , presumably aimed at prospective new members:


How does the UFCW know what I want?

The Union does not make your Collective Agreement - you and your co-workers do. The Union will guide you through the legal process required to obtain one, and act as your spokesperson during negotiations. Your Collective Agreement is custom tailored to your needs because you determine what goes into it. Only you and your co-workers are invited to submit proposals into its content and to participate on the Negotiating Committee, which will meet face to face with your employer.

Can anything be taken away?

Your employer is prohibited by law from penalizing workers for electing union representation. For this reason, your employer cannot offer a package that is less than what you already have. The goal of negotiations is to negotiate provisions in an attempt to secure an overall improvement to workers. Any such agreement is binding only upon approval by the workers at a Ratification Vote.

... and from the Local 175 FAQ's , presumably aimed at prospective new members :


It is important to understand that nobody will pay union dues until after the union has negotiated a Collective Agreement with the employer which is acceptable to more than 50% of the employees. This means that nobody pays union dues until the union has negotiated a wage increase for the employees. This means that no one pays union dues until there has been improvements made in the wages, benefits, working conditions, hours of work and job security for the employees. The extra wages, benefits or hours of work negotiated by the Union will more than cover the cost of dues.

(bold added for emphasis)

Perhaps the existing members of these locals should no longer have to pay dues and should in fact receive a dues refund for "accepting" any concessions.

  • posted by <here we go again>
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 12:18am

once again we got screwed by our own union. first they see to it that 85% of the employees of zehr's remain in the partime ranks . then they brag about all the benefits they managed to get for us ( benefits that you get only after 650 hours a year, pretty hard to achieve when the average per week hours have now dropped down to 10 hours per week) i believe therefore that that means you dont have benefits if you are partime. then they compare what we have with what the wal-mart people have. The only difference being they dont have union dues taken off their pays.

Now we get this package of crap that they handed us , explaining of course that they will get us the best deal they can. Bull Pucky.!!!! Partimers will get 10,000.00 max . with 85% of the employees partime zehrs is going to save a bundle and the union will have aided the company in achieving what they wanted all along. NOBODY LEFT AT TOP RATE and with the contract we last signed there isnt a snowballs hope in hades that anyone will ever reach top rate again. I wonder if the union honcos will take a cut in pay matching what they expect us to take. not likely, they will instead belly up to the trough and slap on the feed bag again

If we had a brain in our head the employees should hold another vote to decertify the bunch of company cronies and this time not let them scare us into giving up

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 6:53am

Sent this to my local (1000a) with the small hope that someone in this union might read it and think about it, although my feelings are that we have allready been sold out and I'll soon have my wages backed up 20 years and god knows about benifits.

Concession Bargaining - How Not To
Except in the most extraordinary circumstances, there is no acceptable reason for a union to bargain concessions. In the case of a business that is profitable, there is absolutely no reason for concession bargaining. The results of concession bargaining over the last two decades should stand as proof that concessions do not benefit workers.

While concessions are often presented to workers as "necessary", something that the company needs to remain viable, let's keep one thing in mind: The objective of a business is to maximize profit. Wages and benefits are a drain on the bottom line so it stands to reason that if these can be reduced, profits will increase. Business, therefore, needs no reason to demand concessions beyond the fact that this will improve bottom line profitability. If you don't ask, you don't get. If a union has a history of concession bargaining, the company is that much more likely to ask. Concessions are not a matter of need, but a competitive advantage to be sought out where it may be achievable.

Whether or not concessions will be pursued aggressively by a business depends largely upon the reaction, official and unofficial, of the union leadership to the company's initial pitch for concessions. If company officials perceive that the union leadership is sympathetic or can be persuaded, the assault will begin. Dire predictions and gloomy forecasts about the future of the business will become a constant theme in management communications to workers. Where union leaders have bought in to management's campaign, "message discipline" from the union office will help to persuade the membership until it eventually capitulates and accepts the employer's terms. The gloom and doom is always positioned as if it were fact although for the most part, it is highly speculative, grossly oversimplified and designed to spread fear, uncertainty and a sense that cuts are inevitable and workers should be happy to have jobs on any terms. It's important not to fall prey to the psychological manipulation of "message discipline" or get caught up in distracting talk about unprofitable operations.

The Standard Pitch & What to Pitch Back
Understanding the strategy and a little about basic business principles can help you to keep yourself from getting sold down the river. Here are the stock arguments in favor of concessions and how you can respond to them:

"We're Poor"
If management insists on crying poor, union leaders can always ask that management "open the books" and prove it .If management won't open their books, information on how your employer is doing may still be available to you. For instance, if the company you work for is publicly owned (it sells shares on the stock market), it is required to publish an annual report and other financial data. In addition, many companies post financial data on their corporate web sites for the benefit of current and prospective investors. You can assume that this information is both current and accurate, as it is a serious thing to mislead investors.

It's highly unlikely that you will get the same gloom and doom being hawked around the bargaining table. And don't worry; you do not need to be a financial wizard to understand the picture. It is a simple equation you need to know for bargaining purposes: either the company is profitable or it isn't. If it's profitable, there is no need for concessions. If it isn't, there is probably still no good reason for you to accept them.

We'll Move/We'll Close
Employers looking for concessions often rely two age-old scare tactics to soften up union members prior to entering into negotiations. The threat of closure and lurking competition. In order to maximize profit, a business needs to be in the game. Leaving a market where it is a major player runs contrary to this objective. Few businesses ever pull out of a market where they are a major player so threats to this effect are more likely to be a bluff to leverage management's position at negotiations than statements of the business's true intentions.

We Can't Compete
Competition is a given in a free market economy. Businesses should expect the arrival of new competitors and new business concepts and be prepared to respond to them in ways that allow them to retain a competitive position. Responding to changes in the marketplace is management's responsibility and not the workers'. A business that can't handle competition will not be in business for long - no matter what you give up.

An employer's inability to compete or to meet the challenges presented by the arrival of new competitors is a failing of management. Some businesses are hampered by unhealthy management cultures that tolerate incompetent managers and generate poor management decisions. All things considered, management ineptitude is more likely to sink the business than the arrival of new competition. Rank and file workers should not be responsible for years of bad management. Concessions on the part of rank and filers will not save a business that is its own worst enemy. At the end of the day, it is management's job to deal with the challenges of being in business.

In short, a business that is failing because of inability to compete or because of a management decision to leave a particular market, will do so no matter what the workers give up. Concessions will only serve to reduce workers' severance and pension entitlements when the inevitable comes to pass.

What to do if you're hearing noises about concessions:
Find out what's going on: Be sure to attend any meetings management is holding with workers to talk about the business, and any meetings that your union is having, to discuss negotiations.

Ask your union leaders if management is going to be seeking concessions and what the union's position on this will be.

Make it clear that you are opposed to concessions. Get that message across every time the subject comes up.

Educate your fellow members about what's really up when it comes to concessions. By presenting a united front to management (and union leaders who may have bought-in) you can minimize the possibility that your hard-won gains will be bartered away because management isn't doing its job.

Remind anyone trying to persuade you to accept rollbacks of the following three simple points:

The real financial position of the business as presented in their own documents.

That it is management's job to make the business profitable.

That wage concessions have never helped workers and you have no reason to believe that they will benefit you.

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  • posted by here we go again
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 7:18am

I have an idea!!!!! If this package is going to be what the union wants us to accept , how be, when the figures for each employees allotment for service has been calculated either the company - or - heaven forbid the union pays the income tax,CPP and EI benefits deductions out of their own pockets. At least this will leave the employees with a few more dollars to put in their pockets. I do believe that before the final deal is agreed upon we , the members of the union , get one more vote on the matter. WE HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE THIS A PART OF THE CONCESSION WE ARE EXPECTED TO ACCEPT.

I would like some input from anyone else reading this forum and also some info on the next step that will occur before the deal is done.

  • posted by siggy
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 7:51am



You have the power to reject the entire concession pkg.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 10:55am

Here We Go Again: I doubt that the members will get another vote on these concessions. It sure doesn't look to me like that's what the ufcw has in mind here at all.

The way I read what's going on is this: They are putting this "deal" to the members at these membership meetings that are taking place now and over the next couple of weeks. I'm not sure if the meetings are well-publicized at all (How are members being told about the meetings? Are they getting letters mailed to their homes? Have notices been put up in the workplaces? What details are being provided to members in advance of the meetings?)

If the meetings are not well-publicized it would suggest to me that the union is hoping that the turnout for the meetings will be low. This makes it easier to convince the workers who do attend, that the concessions are necessary.

Once these meetings are concluded, the yes/no votes will be counted up and if more than 50% of those who voted voted "yes", then the deal is be approved. The union will say, "hey, we put it to a vote of the membership and they voted in favour".

If you want to stop this deal, the best advice I can give you is to do what you can to make sure that as many members as possible turn up at the meetings and vote "no". You may also want to turn up some political heat on the union: Call the local media, fax or email labour organizations like the CLC, the OFL, the UFCW national and international offices, your MPP, the Minister of Labour, anyone else you can think of - and register your disgust and disapproval with what's going on.

Don't hold out hope that you'll get another opportunity to vote on this. I don't think your union has the slightest inclination to do this.

If the vote is rammed through and you're unhappy, consider changing unions. It's perfectly legal and it may be the only hope you have of getting the kind of representation you want.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 11:53am

as far as receiving any advance notice of what was in the concession agreement we received absolutely nothing. Of course this is the norm for this particular union , silence is golden is their motto.

at the outset of the meeting the comments being made by our president set the tone . I am so weary of the confrontational attitude put forward to the members by the union . It is almost a we against them forum and considering that we pay their wages not the other way around you would think that they would walk on eggshells around us when handing this type of paper dog doo out.

this never should have been brought forward to the members for consideration let alone voted on. But the usual scare tactics presented by them to the membership ( visa vie : Zehr's plans to close all stores if this is not accepted . a direct quote from Brian Williamson) worked again. Ah the power of the word works wonders eh. Sold down the river again.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 12:50pm

You mean to say that your union's leaders didn't tell the members anything in advance about the fact that a vote on concessions to their contract was going to take place at this meeting? Did members go to the meeting expecting that it would be just a "regular" membership meeting? I'm no expert on these things but it would seem to me that in a case as extreme as this (where a proposal to amend an existing collective agreement is going to be put to a vote), there's an obligation on the union to inform the members of what's happening.

If the only information put out to the members is the brief reference on the Local 1977 web site to a "mandate" for Loblaws, Zehr's and Fortino's, I'm not sure that's sufficient or that the union can reasonably expect that the average member would take this to mean "we're going to vote on concessions to your contract".

For what it's worth: If this is what happened, you may want to consider filing a Duty to Fair Representation complaint if these concessions get pushed through. There's no guarantee of success with DFR's, but damn it, it may be worth a shot in this case.

  • posted by siggy
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 2:09pm

Gawd for whatever reason this is ringin' too familiar.

Back in '96 when the ofg/safeway/1518 concessions got jammed up our ... down our throats ... there were a few things that seem'd rather manipulated (ok alot).

The 'buy-out' was an important issue for members. I think the machine and company liked it too. Let's call it the carrot for now. Anyway it was talked about alot.

The 'buy-out' was a tempting tempting carrot for many. It was ideal for students who were just passin' through and it definitely was a carrot for the long term employees who over the previous years seen the whole sell-out charade going down.

I don't doubt many ufcw members just wanted out at whatever cost.

Well guess what? With the 1518 concessions came a nice (not lucrative) buy-out for those who qualified. I think in Manitoba 832 retail there was a buy-out for those who qualified.

The key word here is *qualify*. In B.C. at the meetings the info didn't specify that X amount of dollars were in the buy-out. In Manitoba it was the same thing, some who believed they had voted a ticket out, ended up getting shafted.

The end result for some of those members who thought they were voting to get out, was, it didn't happen. Some ended up having to live with the concessions they thought they had left for other workers to live with.

So the moral of the story is don't vote for anything you can't live with, or the very least you can't see.

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 3:29pm

During the 1977 meeting it was mentioned that 1000A (local that represents Loblaws workers) took the mandate to their directors to vote, not the membership!!! They decided for the members, and afterward the workers were told.
Is this not the MOST backward decision making you have ever heard off?
It is to me.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 3:40pm

I think that's bloody outrageous! If Local 1000a agreed to major concessions without even making a pretense at putting those to a vote of the members, I seriously question whether that could withstand a legal challenge. It does not seem to me to be consistent with the intent of the Labour Relations Act which requires that collective bargaining settlements be ratified by a secret ballot vote of the members.

I'd like to know how they swung this - if indeed they just had a vote of the directors or the officers or something other than the members. Was there some kind of innocuous resolution passed at some poorly attended GMM that gives the directors "the right to enter into agreements about....stuff"? I wonder.

Local President Corporon ought to be ashamed of himself for recommending these concessions regardless of who got to vote on them. What happened to you Kevin? You were such a man of the people at one time. Would your co-workers back at the meat packing plant be proud of you making deals with management behind their backs? I recall you saying at one time that you flatly refused to sell them out even though the boss promised to take care of you. Why do Local 1000a members deserve any less?

  • posted by blasdell
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 4:55pm

Local 1000a hasnt notified the membership of any deal yet.there is stewards meeting on thursday july 3rd to get the details out.apparently the deal is only 115,000 sqaure ft stores will be converted and if you dont go you can take 4 weeks for every year ft.our contract is up in 2006 and the union has been promised no concessions at that negotiation.

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 5:31pm

Sounds exactly like the 1977 deal. Except you were not told about it before it was agreed to. Nuts eh?

It is not such a great deal. We workers (Zehrs and Loblaws) have been promised what we already had (till 2006 ). But we have these new "Zehrs Real Canadian Superstore's" and "Loblaws Real Canadian Superstores" going to pop up around new communities with what they call franchise type contracts. Then down the road we will get the 'industry standard' talk, telling us we must give up more. Sure our next contract after 2006 we will not lose pay or benefits for the life of that contract (probably 6 months to a year) but what about Sundays, dept heads out of union, etc.? Then 2007 all hell will break out as we become part of Wally's World when it comes to wages, benefits and working conditions.
No real future at Real Canadian or any other retail bottom feeding work enviroment.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 10:13pm

no concessions after this contract runs out is probably a good sign that they will stick us with a one year deal. they will pay for 100% uniform costs, more like wear your own clothes and throw on this blue vest with lots of shiny buttons. the last time I saw so much disrespect for a contract was by the boy wonder Bob Rae.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 4:27am

good morning all well we at zehrs have had a night to sleep on and mull over the info we received at our wonderful meeting. i went to the store that i work at yesterday just to see if anyone else was as upset as I am

the general attitude was " I dont give a @!@! " pretty well everyone has decided to just give up , go to work, do your job and go home. Zehrs is going to loose alot more than they gain by this move. Most customers by now are aware of what is going on and believe me they side with the employees and not the management. Loss of customer support may be greater than what the company expected and I personally think the employees should put an info letter to all their respective local papers explaining exactly what this wonderful company thinks of its employees. AND THEY CALL WAL-MART A LOW CLASS EMPLOYEER someone please explain to me the difference between what is happening to us and what wal-mart pays its people ???

  • posted by siggy
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 6:10am


we at zehrs have had a night to sleep on and mull over the info we received at our wonderful meeting.

It sounds like you didn't have any choices here.

Doesn't/didn't the membership get to vote on whether the contract can be open'd and if not how can that happen?

  • posted by BillPearson
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 6:12am

I don't want to sound stupid, but what the hell have you agreed to? I can't believe you voted on a change without knowing what the changes are to be. Somebody turn on the light and let me see better, please.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 6:49am

you are as confused and uninformed as the voting membership. the meeting we attended consisted of the union leaders informing us that zehrs/loblaws wants to amend our existing agreement by lowering our wages and / or benefits to make them able to compete with wal-mart. the paper we received plus the info from the leaders informed us that the union was meeting with the company since december about this matter. however , we , the union members did not know anything about this until we were at the meeting. SURPRISE SURPRISE

I guess in reality they are not asking us to open the existing contract they are just telling us they want us to accept concessions to it. I am befuddled as you are about this , as are most of my fellow workers. How can and did this happen without our knowledge and approval. I thought the union had to come to us first and get permission to even meet with the company on this matter. Someone explain to me the protocol for this.

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 7:41am

Still have not heard a peep from anyone at UFCW 1000a I wonder what their stratagy was? because as I talk to people from various stores the anger at virtually being left out in the cold is building to a fever pitch, and the longer they hold off the harder I think (hope) these a-holes are going to have at taminig the membership when they do.
Spoke to two Loblaws managers today who just attended a three day conferance in Kingston, what seemed to be pumped into them was to come back and assure everyone that no stores were going to "close" and we were all going to have jobs.
HAHAHAHA But at what price ! ! !

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 8:24am

Have you considered asking your local president what's going on? Why not go straight to the horse's mouth with a list of questions and demand some answers? In case you're having trouble deciding what to ask, here are a few questions that might help you along:

1. What concessions have been agreed to (tentatively or otherwise) with the company?

2. When were they agreed to, who was present at those discussions and who agreed to what?

3. Why were members not consulted in advance of these discussions?

4. Why were the members not asked to approve their representatives decision to enter into these discussions?

5. Why were members not kept appraised as the discussions progressed?

6. Does the union intend to ask the members to ratify the concessions? If so, when and how will ratification take place? If not, why not?

7. Why has no information been provided to members about these concessions to date?

8. What kind of information will be provided to members in advance of any vote?

Those are just a few that I'd sure want to ask if I were a member of this local right now.

I might also ask the pres if he's willing to take similar concessions to his pay and benefits.

Asking questions in writing and requesting a written reply is preferable to verbal exchanges, since there is always sooooo much room for "misunderstanding". Sometimes though, it's good to do both. See if the verbal reply matches the written reply.

Anyway, you're members. You pay dues. You're entitled to ask questions and expect answers - good ones! Think about it.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 8:29am

I wonder how long it will be before our union leaders ( and i definately use that term as loosely as possible ) call another meeting. They best have protective equipment on at the time , because this time the meeting will be a lot more aggressive on our part. The members are sick and tired of being sold down the proverbial river by this bunch of dolts.

I am quoting from the paper that they handed to us on June 23 " after prolonged negotiations , a balanced agreement is crafted "


I never heard of any taking place, you would think that something of this importance would have been sent to the members letting them know what was going on.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 8:39am

these questions were asked after the slide show was over at the meeting. But the head honchos did the usual texas two - step around every one that was asked . And when the questions got too loud and angry sounding they were ignored completely . The poor folk at the head table felt like we were verbally attacking them I guess. GEEEEEE WHIZZZ DO YOU THINK?????

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 9:22am

How do you ask questions when your union web site has completely shut down, phone lines are apparently clogged (or off the hook) messages are not returned,your store stewards know nothing, and by the the time you get a reply via snail mail you've already been raped ? ? ?

Sorry but I could'nt think of a better term. (raped)

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 9:26am

here we go again: Could you provide us with the full text of the paper that you're quoting from? If it's too long to retype, send an email to and tell us how you'd prefer to share it (fax, email, snail mail, etc.)

Nights 046: I'm not surprised that communication is difficult with these guys. You might want to consider writing a letter with your questions to the UFCW National office and the International Office. Send it by snail mail or fax. If they don't respond, tell us. It's harder to ignore members when the union leaders' igornance is on display for the world to see.

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 9:40am


posted by remote viewer:
Have you considered asking your local president what's going on? Why not go straight to the horse's mouth with a list of questions and demand some answers? In case you're having trouble deciding what to ask, here are a few questions that might help you along:

1. What concessions have been agreed to (tentatively or otherwise) with the company?

2. When were they agreed to, who was present at those discussions and who agreed to what?

3. Why were members not consulted in advance of these discussions?

4. Why were the members not asked to approve their representatives decision to enter into these discussions?

5. Why were members not kept appraised as the discussions progressed?

6. Does the union intend to ask the members to ratify the concessions? If so, when and how will ratification take place? If not, why not?

7. Why has no information been provided to members about these concessions to date?

8. What kind of information will be provided to members in advance of any vote?

Those are just a few that I'd sure want to ask if I were a member of this local right now.

I might also ask the pres if he's willing to take similar concessions to his pay and benefits.

Asking questions in writing and requesting a written reply is preferable to verbal exchanges, since there is always sooooo much room for "misunderstanding". Sometimes though, it's good to do both. See if the verbal reply matches the written reply.

Anyway, you're members. You pay dues. You're entitled to ask questions and expect answers - good ones! Think about it.

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 2:59pm

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz---WAKE UP LOCAL 1000A--zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz---WAKE UP LOCAL 175--

Does anyone even know what is going on in these locals?
Are you folks being told anything?
Why is members of LOCAL 1977 finding out about changes that are affecting all of us and know one else knows anything yet?

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 3:49pm

I smell a strategy. The deal will get pushed through at Zehr's first. With the Zehr's workers already committed to the concessions, the thinking on the part of the union leaders might be that it will be easier to sell to the members at the other 2 locals. They may feel a sense of solidarity with their brothers and sisters at Local 1977 or might feel like they're just being greedy if they don't take a hit for the ufcw team as well. I know it sounds ridiculous but so do a lot of things this union has done.

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Thu, Jun 26, 2003 6:12pm

The 1000A local had already accepted the 'mandate' by getting it approved by their directors we were told. Then it is time to tell the members. So I guess I disagree. But I must tell you when you hear that another local has already given in, then you feel like you are beaten already.

Interesting note:
It was mentioned during 1977's meeting how LCL (Loblaw Companies Limited) fat cats were going to implode Loblaws and Zehrs banners if we turned down the restructuring. What the big guy was going to do is put up 'Real Canadian Superstores' with super low prices and raise the prices of the surrounding established company banners.
Class act eh?

  • posted by here we go again
  • Fri, Jun 27, 2003 7:16am

good morning once again. I was wondering if anyone has heard what happened with the other votes being taken on the zehrs/loblaws concessions.

I'm not sure how many locals are voting on this matter and I only know that with my local (1977) it was passed by 85%. Considering the emotions at the meeting I was astounded to see it passed at all let alone by that much. I guess the scare tactic of the threat that they would close all the stores down worked once again on the voting members. Maybe they thought it would be better to still have a job ( even it didnt pay you to get up and go to work) than to be in most of the people involved age group looking for a job.

If anyone has more info I would really appreciate a reply to this query. I am already looking for another job. I cannot in good faith work for a company or a union that has so little regard for the people that are actually keeping them on the employeed lists. Up and onward to better things .

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Fri, Jun 27, 2003 8:18am

In todays 'Report On Business' (The Globe And Mail magazine) listed the top 1000 companies rankings by profits for 2002.

Loblaws moved up to position #18 from #27 in 2001.

George Weston Ltd. moved up to position #19 from #24 in 2001.

Westfair Foods (Loblaws western operation) moved to #48 from #58 in 2001.

Oh well.
What goes up, must come down.
What comes around, goes around.

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Fri, Jun 27, 2003 9:33am

Just some notes from my head as I contemplate this Loblaws-UFCW thing.

1: Recall reading an article from Galen Weston where he stated that he would not hire anyone to run one of his companys who had not travelled the world extensively! Made me ponder at the time, what has that got to do with running a business and should I take a year off, travel the world and put in for that six figure salary when I get back.

2: Also recall an article about Provigo and how when they were at the brink of going under decided they needed to hire someone who had worked in the bussiness all their life from the bottem up, as I recall the first thing he did was ask the guy in charge of produce how to tell if a banana was good? his response was something like I would'nt have the foggiest idea! Guess what? he was the first one fired! and as I read on this is more or less how the whole company was being run (To it's own demise)
If anyone has a clue as to where to find these articles I would love to know I've been searching but with no luck as of yet, I'm sure they were from Toronto papers or magazines.

3: I find it facinating how many times I have come accross the statement on this site that it's up to management to come up with ideas to improve profit other than cutting wages when I have said to friends and co workers countless times over the past few months that there has not been an original idea out of Loblaws since Dave Nickles left. all these dolts seem to do is run from one place to another looking for ideas to implement in Loblaws as their own! thus the situation we are in now, not withstanding a union without guts, or do they just not realize that the membership would stand behind them? or do they care? or is this all about more dues? I could go on and probably will as speaking your mind does help release the tension please keep the posts coming and let your fellow members know about the site.
Thanks MfD.

  • posted by Duffbeer
  • Sat, Jun 28, 2003 2:46pm

From Friday's The Cambridge Reporter:

Zehrs workers back request for wage cuts


The Record

Workers at local Zehrs Markets reacted with a sense of resignation Monday night and voted to approve a request from their union to accept lower wages at the company's new superstores in order to compete in a looming retail battle with Wal-Mart.

About 550 Zehrs workers from Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo crowded into the Waterloo Inn to hear details of the deal, which union leaders believe will make the best of a trying situation.

With just over 500 votes cast, 84 per cent were in favour of the union's proposal.

The situation is that Wal-Mart is poised to move into the Ontario grocery market with huge new stores selling a wide range of food and non-food goods.

Zehrs' parent company, Loblaw Cos. Ltd., is responding by expanding some stores and building large new ones so they can offer a wider range of items.

Since Wal-Mart is known for low wages and anti-union policies, Zehrs is looking to lower its labour costs at the new stores in order to compete.

In the first of a series of meetings across southern Ontario, workers were asked Monday night to give union leaders permission to add language to their contract that would allow the company to pay less to workers at its new super-stores.

Workers at existing stores would continue to earn their current pay.

As workers inside the meeting continued voting on the plan Monday night, others left, saying that they have little choice but to accept it.

"I think it sucks for anybody new coming in, and it isn't fair," said Tracy Todd, a pharmacy technician at the Cambridge Centre Zehrs.

"But I need my benefits and the money I'm making now."

Zaneta Pahlad, an office clerk at the new Valu-Mart at Forest Glen Plaza in Kitchener, said "it's not right" that new workers will face lower wages. But she said employees had few options.

"They (the company) are going to do whatever they want to do anyway," she said.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents 8,000 workers at the nearly 60 Zehrs stores in southern Ontario, wants the blessing of its membership before it agrees to the lower wages.

  • posted by sleK
  • Sat, Jun 28, 2003 9:24pm


"think it sucks for anybody new coming in, and it isn't fair, [...] But I need my benefits and the money I'm making now."

Me me me me me.

Thanks for doing your part in perpetuating the unfairness.


"it's not right [...] They (the company) are going to do whatever they want to do anyway,".

And thank you for demonstrating the strength of your personal convictions.

Most of all I'd like to thank the UFCW for creating an environment where such selfish and un-union-like behaviour can flourish.

Go team go!


  • posted by remote viewer
  • Sun, Jun 29, 2003 4:54am

This joint corporate-ufcw push for concessions is a pathetic example of how working people are manipulated into sacrificing their interests for the interests of the powerful others (their company and their union).

Of course the workers are going to feel that they had no choice. Their damned union - the very organization that is supposed to be fighting for them - is telling them there's no choice!

The mainstream media reporting on this is also pretty pathetic. Since when do 500 votes out a unit of 8,000 make up an overwhelming majority. Yes, 85% of the 500 voted to accept and that's highly predictable given the union's spin about the inevitability of the concessions, but notice how the newspaper article makes it appear that the vast majority of the workers at Zehr's are in favour of the concessions?

The UFCW has swallowed a bunch of management BS and regurgitated it for consumption by the members.

Someone please tell me what the hell is "imploding a banner"? Since when did "implosion" become a business concept? That's the biggest crock I've heard to date in terms of union leaders' understanding of business concepts.

We absolutely must take what we can from this sad example of unionism and hang it out for the whole world to see and to understand. BTW, where is the rest of the labour movement on this sell-out? Oh, the workers voted in favour or the sell-out, right? That makes it OK? Let's get back to the golf game....

The end of the mainstream labour movement in Canada is clearly in view now.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Sun, Jun 29, 2003 5:37am

I have been trying to log onto our local's web site for more info on this mandate matter ever since the vote this past Tuesday all without success. Phone calls to the local end in a busy signal. How the heck are we , the dues paying members , supposed to keep ourselves abreast of what is going on? You would think that a matter as importannt and volitile as this one has become would be met with some kind of responsibility by those who perpetuated it.

Each area within the local has representatives in the union hall, each store has stewards and I would assume they all have a phone. One should be phoning the other , getting the newest info and passing it on to the rest of us . A simple bulletin placed near the punch clock or on the bulletin board would exact some kind of gratefullness I am sure.

I have passed on the info I have ( via snail mail ) to the holder of this web site . Maybe someone with more union process knowledge than I have can give a different outlook to this matter. I am also glad to see that I am not the only one from this area on the web site that is voicing my concerns on this matter, hopefully , giving some prewarning assistance to the next group that may be put in this situation. My word of advice is to keep aware of what your local union is doing, ask questions before troubles arise and make EVERY member in your local as aware. DON'T LET WHAT HAPPENED WITH THIS VOTE TAKE PLACE IN ANOTHER UNION AGAIN. Take your union to task and make them accountable for everything that is said and done by them. Make sure there are no secret meetings taking place that you cannot change the outcome of.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Sun, Jun 29, 2003 8:36am

I sure hope that members of all 3 locals who have not yet voted, get involved and let their union leaders know what they think.

I personally would like to see us post as much information as we can about this tentative concessionary deal and how it was hatched and how the members' "approval" was obtained.

Whatever happens at the UFCW locals, I think you're right: In the very least, this information may prevent this kind crap from taking place in other unions.

HWGA - Would you know how many membership meetings were there on the "mandate" at Local 1977. From the meeting schedule on their web site it looks as though meetings were going to continue up to at least July 9th. From the newspaper article, however, it looks like they might have had a couple of meetings and that was the end of it. Did all 8,000 members get notified of the meetings where the voting was to take place? (These may sound like dumb questions but I'd like people to have as much information as possible about how this whole thing is going down.)

  • posted by cointoss
  • Sun, Jun 29, 2003 9:54am

someone tell me how mandatory sundays are going to work? Do you not still have a right not to work and does this mean you forfeit eight hours? what about the employment standards act? anyone with experience please fill me in. Thanks.

  • posted by weiser
  • Sun, Jun 29, 2003 11:28am

The manditory Sundays will happen 'cause your union agreed to make them happen.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Sun, Jun 29, 2003 5:35pm

at the 1977 meeting we were told that 1000A (loblaws) gave their local a mandate to negotiate the new department store appendix as well as the rcss contract for any new loblaws stores. can anyone cofirm this to be true??

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Sun, Jun 29, 2003 7:13pm

This would sure be interesting to know. It would also be good to know - if some kind of approval or authorization was given to the Local's leaders - whether this was given by the members or by some select group of insiders (stewards, executive board members or whoever).

  • posted by HJFinnamore
  • Mon, Jun 30, 2003 9:13am

Listen, I worked for the UFCW when the Real Canadian Superstore came to BC. It was a crappy deal cut at the highest levels of the UFCW and Loblaw Companies.

I stood in public and gave the party bullshit to anyone who would listen. It was bullshit! The deal was cut-rate and designed to give Loblaw an advantage over unionized competitors, not the non-union competitors.

Not once did the "house of labour" attack the UFCW. They were happy to believe that a simple business agent could torpedo the retail grocery industry all on his own.

Hey and look at Leif Hansen today. He's 2nd in command at the newly named Local 777 (now 247)


Pact flak called 'hysteria': Superstoresunion officialdefends deal
The Vancouver Sun; Vancouver, B.C.; Mar 29, 1989;

An official of the union that negotiated a cut-rate contract at the Real Canadian Superstores lashed out Tuesday at what he called 'hysteria' and misunderstanding about a deal that has shocked B.C. employers and unions.

Hugh Finnamore, representative of Local 777 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, denied that his union's contract unfairly undercuts the existing industry standard and upsets the competitive balance of wages and pricing of major grocery retailers.

'It's obvious people don't understand what's in our collective agreement,' said Finnamore. 'A lot of the stuff is just hysteria now.'

Real Canadian Superstore spokesman Dave Ryzebol said any contract must recognize that about half the stock in the new stores is non-food items and the store must compete with the minimum wages of non-union retailers.

'In the bigger picture, unions should say 'look, we've got a foothold in a part of the market we've never had,'' said Ryzebol.

Local 777 is a new creation within the UFCW, whose other locals are now negotiating contracts that expire March 31 with major food chains, including Overwaitea, Safeway and Save-On Foods.
Those locals have charged that Local 777 undercut their contracts.

Local 2000 president Leif Hansen said there has been a temporary setback in negotiations as a result.

'Locals 2000 and 1518 requested the international president (Bill Wynn) to conduct a review of the collective agreement (of Local 777) as soon as possible,' said Hansen.

B.C. Federation of Labor president Ken Georgetti, Confederation of Canadian Unions president Jess Succamore and other labor leaders such as IWA-Canada president Jack Munro have condemned the deal as a sellout to employers.

'Georgetti and Munro don't understand this,' said Finnamore. 'It's a great deal, you've got 3,000 jobs for B.C., darn good rates of pay for someone coming off the street and in a short order they're up to top rates.'

But Georgetti said Tuesday the Local 777 contract 'is one of the worst contracts that I have ever had the displeasure of reading.

'I have a typed copy of the contract and suffice to say that I would not have Hugh Finnamore negotiate any contract for any union that I know of, at any time.'

Employers, too, criticized the deal, especially clauses they say encourage workers to quit before reaching senior levels, to receive buy-out payments in the form of Registered Retirement Savings plans worth up to $2,500.

'I've never heard of anything like this in all the training and experience I've had,' said Bryan Wall, vice-president of industrial relations for Overwaitea and Save On Foods.

But Wall said Overwaitea is not jealous of the Local 777 contract.

'I don't think we want the 777 contract,' he said. 'We think it's a bad collective agreement for the employees and employer as well.

'What advantage is there, to an employer that believes in its people, to have an operation like that, to encourage people to quit?' he said, referring to the 777 buy-out plan.

But Ryzebol said 'some people interpret that as a way to keep them there for at least two years.'
The provision was designed as a kind of scholarship fund for its student workers, he said.

'We may have a lower start rate, but it's fair, comparable and it goes up, above the industry rate,' said Ryzebol.

Meatcutters at Real Canadian Superstore, for example, can earn a top wage of $18.76 per hour, compared to other major stores at $17.26, he said.
And he questioned retailers' arguments that Real Canadian Superstore has upset the balance and industry standards.

'Is it they're concerned about a level playing field, or they're concerned about competition?' said Ryzebol, charging that much of the rhetoric is 'posturing' related to the food industry negotiations now underway.

Finnamore said cashiers in his union local start at $7.50 per hour compared to $11.02 per hour at other major stores. He admitted Local 777 will not have many of the benefits enjoyed by other locals.
Also unlike the rest of the industry, Local 777 has no extended health coverage or long-term disability pay, but Finnamore said sick pay does exist, at reduced rates, for six months.

Real Canadian Superstore pays more for statutory holidays than other stores, he said.

Wages will be renegotiated every year and senior Real Canadian Superstore workers may be paid more than those at other major stores, although he admitted it will take longer to reach that level, especially with a high staff turnover.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Mon, Jun 30, 2003 1:51pm

It looks to me like a repeat of this is happening now in Ontario. But they don't need to set up a separate local to do it. The existing locals are more than willing to bargain discount collective agreements.

I believe that back in the late 1980's when Local 777 was set up, the existing BC UFCW local presidents protested loudly when they found out what kind of contract 777 was going to agree to. I wonder why the current crop of comfortable Presidents are happy to go along? Is it just the culture of business-friendliness that has evolved over the course of 10 years? That would be my guess.

  • posted by <syb>
  • Mon, Jun 30, 2003 2:12pm

If the UFCW is just going to close ranks and support this garbage, I'd recommend that in addition to the suggestions above, you also contact the CAW pronto and demand that they say something about this. The autoworkers are now in the retail grocery sector, too, and their contracts are going to get dragged down just like everyone else's are if this isn't stopped.

Email Buzz Hargrove:

Write/Phone/Email CAW National Office:

205 Placer Court, Toronto, ON M2H 3H9
Phone: (416) 497-4110
Fax: (416) 495-6559

Write/Phone CAW- Retail Wholesale Union

6800 Campbello Road, Mississauga, ON L5N 2L8
Phone: 905-819-9000
Fax: 905-819-1262

  • posted by weiser
  • Mon, Jun 30, 2003 2:21pm

Look just how friendly they can be:


A Westfair executive says in an affidavit filed in court that the leaked information could convince Superstores employees they don't make enough money compared to Safeway employees, increasing the risk of an illegal strike and the risk of violence in a legal strike.
Westfair claims the leaked information came from its payroll computers and was routinely given to a company that administers the United Food and Commercial Workers' pension plan.

The union's Local 1518 represents Safeway employees; Local 777 represents Superstores workers.

Westfair says either Safeway or Local 1518 could have got the leaked information from the pension plan administrator, and that it couldn't have come from anywhere else.

Westfair vice-president Bruce Kent says in the affidavit that Safeway executive Don Balletto and Local 1518 official Brooke Sundin met March 1 with Local 777 business agent Jim Smith to give him the confidential pension fund information, which included an analysis of wages and hours worked by Superstores workers.

Kent says Balletto and Sundin tried to convince Local 777 leaders to get tough in contract talks, and to threaten that "Real Canadian Superstores would be closed by strike action."

Kent says there was a conspiracy by Safeway and Local 1518 to push Local 777 into eliminating Superstores' "competitive cost advantage" on labor costs, and "to cause damage" to Westfair.

The UFCW is just too much! The above was from The Vancouver Sun; Vancouver, B.C.; Apr 23, 1993. Here you have Safeway and Local 1518 working together to try to actually get Whitlock to talk tough. Then it seems like Whitlock runs to Westfair and tell them what Safeway and Local 1518 is trying to get him to do.

It's a real insight into just how cosy the employer/union relationships are.

Do you believe it!?

  • posted by <Produce Clerk>
  • Mon, Jun 30, 2003 3:33pm

Hi there,
A few of you have asked what 1000a thinks of all of this and what is going on with us so I will tell you. We don't know anything. We are not being told anything. There will be a stewards meeting on Friday July 4 and I am trying to get my steward to get as much info for me as they can. Most people at my store are willing to rollover and take what is givin to them. I am sure it will pass and it will be a bad deal. I am trying to talk sense into people, but no one cares anymore. I have no problems with working at a RCSS, but I wish to take the current contract(good luck)

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Mon, Jun 30, 2003 4:27pm

Those of you who are interested in writing to UFCW honchos might want to write to:

Michael Fraser, Director, UFCW Canada
300-61 International Blvd., Rexdale, ON, M9W 6K4

-and -

Douglas Dority
International President, United Food and Commerical Workers International Union
1775 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC USA 20006

If you are at a loss for words, here's something that might help you along:

Dear Mr. Dority and Mr. Fraser;

I am an employee of _____________ and a member of UFCW Local _______, located in _____________, Ontario. I am covered by a collective agreement between Local ______ and my employer which went into effect on _____________ and will expire on ______________.

I wish to raise with you an important matter that requires your urgent attention.

It has recently come to my attention that the President of my Local, Mr. _______________, entered into negotiations several weeks or maybe even months ago for concessions to my collective agreement. Mr. _______________ did this without advising the members that he was doing so. Only after agreeing to the concessions, did Mr. ________________ advise the members of the "tentative settlement" which we were then asked, at hastily-called and not well-publicized meeting, to approve.

Neither I nor other members of the local had any idea that negotiations for concessions were in progress. We were provided with no information at all about the nature of the concessions that our employer was seeking and only after the deal was done, was our approval sought.

At the hastily-called meetings, Mr. ______________ said that he needed a "mandate" to sign off on the concessionary deal. Concessions were necessary, he said, to allow our employer to compete with Wal-Mart.

Members who attended at these meetings were shocked and disappointed. With Mr. _____________ telling them that failure to accept the concessions would almost certainly mean the loss of their jobs, the majority voted in favour.

Mr. _______________'s actions have taken away certain contractual entitlements that were ratified in __________ by thousands of members of my local. For many other members, not yet hired, the secret deal means wages and working conditions that will put them on a par with the non-union retail industry.

As a dues-paying member of this union, I object to this deal and the manner in which it was presented to my Sisters and Brothers. I urge you to intervene and take whatever steps are required to stop this concessionary agreement. I request also, that you respond to the following questions and state for me, in clear and unambiguous terms, the position of the United Food and Commerical Workers Union on the following issues:

1. Do Mr. __________________'s actions comply with the UFCW International Constitution and any applicable labour legislation?

2. Are Local union officials required to notify members prior to engaging in negotiations with our employers that may affect our collective agreements?

3. What are the notification requirements for members in situations where they will be asked to vote on significant alterations to their collective agreements? Why were members of my local not advised of the employer's demands or the discussions that took place until after the deal was done?

4. Why is my union asking me and thousands of other members to sacrifice our hard-won wages, benefits and working conditions so our employer can compete with Wal-Mart? I thought the UFCW has a concerted campaign to organize Wal-mart workers? Why not organize Wal-mart workers and get them better pay and benefits rather than asking existing UFCW members to take pay cuts? Has the UFCW conceded the "war on Wal-Mart"?

5. Why should a union, under any circumstances, agree to concessions, particularly with an employer that is as profitably as mine?

6. Were Mr. ________________'s actions approved by either the National or International offices? If so, why?

7. What is the process that I or other members of my Local should follow in the event that we wish to challenge Mr. _____________'s acceptance of these concessions?

Please contact me as soon as possible and let me know when I can expect to receive answers to my questions.

Considering the seriousness of this issue and the potential to impact thousands of workers in the unionized retail industry, I would ask that you instruct Mr. ________________ to defer from going ahead with any agreement on these concessions, until these issues are resolved.


Your Name
Member in Good Standing, UFCW Local _______

You don't need to copy this word for word or at all.I'm offereing it up as something that might get you started on your own letter. Feel free to copy in as many people as you want.

Let us know what you write - so we can post it!

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Mon, Jun 30, 2003 7:18pm

If you are interested in filing a DFR complaint:

I'm not a lawyer but I know a few things about complaints under the Ontario Labour Relations Act. Here are a few pointers.

If you're going to file a DFR, file soon. You can get a copy of the complaint form at this link.

You are the "applicant". Your union is the "responding party". Your employer will most likely file an "intervention". This means they want standing in the proceedings as an interested party (a party that stands to be affected by the outcome).

Filling out the form:

In the section that asks you how your union violated Section 74, be as detailed as you can. You may want to include the following:

- You are covered by a collective agreement that is currently in effect (specify the effective and expiry dates).

- Your collective agreement was ratified as required under the Labour Relations Act in [year].

- Subsequent to ratification, your union entered into negotiations with your employer to alter the collective agreement without advising the members of its intentions or seeking a mandate from the members for these negotiations or providing any information at all about the nature of the alterations that were being contemplated.

- Your local union president reached a tentative agreement to alterations to your collective agreement without the consent of the membership, in fact, without even advising the membership that he was engaged in this activity.

- Your union did not ask the members to "ratify" the alterations to the collective agreement (as is required under Section 44) but instead sought a "mandate" from the members that would enable the Local President to agree to the alterations to the collective agreement as presented at a general membership meeting(s) held on [dates]. (If the meetings were not GMM's, indicate what the union called these meetings.)

- Members were not given sufficient notice of meetings at which this "mandate" was being sought.

- Members were not provided with sufficient information in a timely and reasonable manner about the nature of the alterations to their collective agreement to enable them to make informed decisions.

- The nature of the alterations to the collective agreement are significant and will result in substantive changes to members' wages, benefits and working conditions [specify].

- Union officers presented the changes as a "fait accompli", something to which members must agree or risk losing their jobs. (Say this only if it's true. If possible, quote the exact words that union officers used when presenting the deal.) For this reason, certain members who voted in favour of the mandate, did so under duress. The votes, even if they constitute ratification votes (which you claim they do not) cannot be representative of the true wishes of the members.

- The covert nature of the union's activities suggests that it was engaged in a course of action that was intended to benefit the employer and not the members.

- For all of the foregoing reasons, the union's actions are arbitrary, discriminatory and in bad faith and so, are in violation of Section 74.

- The union has breached the substance, spirit and intent of the Labour Relations Act.

Elaborate as much as you want. The OLRB can - and often does - pitch these complaints out without a hearing on the basis that the applicant has not made out a "prima facie" case. This means that "on the surface" (based on what the applicant has put on the form) there is no real indication that the Act has been violated. Don't leave stuff out assuming that you can raise it later.

Do not say things that aren't true and don't editorialize (it pisses the OLRB people off) but do include any facts, information and arguments that you think might be relevant.

Where the form asks you what you're looking for as a remedy, you may want to ask that the OLRB issue an order suspending the implementation of the concessionary agreement until such time as a determination has been made as to the its legality.Other things you may want to ask for are:

- a declaration that the union has violated the Labour Relations Act.
- a declaration nullifying the "mandate" votes.
- an order instructing the employer and the union to refrain from implementation of the deal.
- an order prohibiting the union from entering into further discussions about altering the collective agreement until the open period for collective bargaining.
- If the union was entitled to enter into bargaining with the employer while the collective agreement is in effect, that the OLRB hold a supervised ratification vote on the proposed alterations to the agreement.

Be sure to follow, to the letter, the instructions for delivering the complaint to the OLRB, the Union and the Employer.

Anyone else have anything to add?

(This link will take you to the Labour Relations Act.)

  • posted by <I knew it>
  • Mon, Jun 30, 2003 8:37pm

That must have been some affidavit.


Kent says there was a conspiracy by Safeway and Local 1518 to push Local 777 into eliminating Superstores' "competitive cost advantage" on labor costs, and "to cause damage" to Westfair.

These guys keep telling the union to tell us that all as they want is a "level playing field" but the truth is they want a better deal than anyone else. They want a competitive advantage. And the UFCW keeps telling us that unless we fork it over, we will lose our jobs.

I think the duty of fair representation angle might be a good way to go.

  • posted by <windsor>
  • Tue, Jul 1, 2003 2:17am

Here we go again. Why don't these people spend this extra money they'll be saving explaining to Canadians the importance of not shopping at Wal-mart, and have a little more faith in the employees that helped make them one of the most successfull grocery chains in Canada?
I'm thinking they've underestimated the importance of customer service. The extra dollars they've spent on us for wages have created an atmosphere of loyalty, pride and knowledge that could never be matched by the typical non-union Wal-Mart employee.
Since Loblaws is the dominant player in Canada, and Wal-Mart has walked all over every country they've hit, they've waited awfully long to come here in tidal waves. Maybe they knew that eventually Loblaws would make foolish mistakes and mimic their strategy, forgetting that over 60% of Canadians expect the customer service they've been getting over the years.
Here's an idea. If we're in such a predicament, then why not have our head office staff match any wage percentage decrease we suffer for the betterment of the company? At least wait until we're on a serious decline in profit before you ask for more.
I agree with the assumption that the union is out for themselves to earn a fat paycheque. We have improved profitability for this company consistently through all kinds of initiatives. I've seen the numbers in many categories. I'm sure these numbers will suffer when top-rated employees leave because they know their worth. Should we allow the so-called mathematician who advises Glen Gonder/whoever to offer a take it or leave it offering to us without hiring our own experts?
I cannot remember the last time I thought our union helped me. Sure, you can say they helped us earn what we earn today, but how many of us would have stuck around wasting our best years knowing it was a temporary job/wage?

  • posted by <Milton>
  • Tue, Jul 1, 2003 6:02am

------------------------------------------------Here's an idea. If we're in such a predicament, then why not have our head office staff match any wage percentage decrease we suffer for the betterment of the company? At least wait until we're on a serious decline in profit before you ask for more.

What I'm hearing is once the new head office opens 401-427 and all banners are put into the same building, 800 "non union" staff from the former head offices are going to be laid off outright!
So lets add this up salaries from 800 employees saved plus concessions from three banners,
Whoooeee these guys have hit the jackpot I'll bet the bonus checks are allready in the mail.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Tue, Jul 1, 2003 8:19am

What's important to understand is that the people making the key business decisions in companies like Loblaws are motivated by one thing and one thing only: To make the biggest, heapingest pile of money possible. That's the only objective of a business in a free market economy: Maximizing profit. That's all that matters and whatever has the potential to increase the bottom line is worth trying. So if chopping 800 non-union bodies out of the corporate administration will help increase the bottom line, let's do it. If we've got some cooperative union presidents who might be persuaded to give us concessions if we scare them with the right boogie man, what the hell are we waiting for?!

To ensure that the workers help the company to maximize profit it's necessary to obscure this one-and-only objective from them. I mean, if workers started thinking about it a lot or, worse still, started talking about it a lot, they'd start putting two and two together and see through the bullshit pretty quick. They might start asking questions like: "If maximizing profit is the company's only objective, then we can never give up enough. We'll always be squeezed for more because the more that we give, the more profitable the company will be. Why the hell should we give up anything?"

From there they might get it in their heads to make use of their power and that would not be good for the bottom line. So to keep you distracted and "focused" on what really matters most to the company, there is a whole mythology that has been spun for your benefit. The mythology is all about the threat of the lurking competition and the horrible things that will happen if you're not doing your part to help keep the company maximizing profit. "Doing your part" means a whole lot of things, from being productive and doing your job well, to sacrificing your wages and benefits when called upon to do so.

All of this is bullshit of course. Much of the crap that workers are fed runs contrary to the fundamental principles of business and free market economics. The guys sitting in the corporate office are laughing themselves silly at union reps who swallow their shit and then regurgitate it for the members. If any of the corporate boys had offered up this kind of swill in a term paper in their buisness program, they'd have gotten an F for F**ked Up.

We explored some of this mythology in this article

I think it's really important that working people understand the mythology so that they don't get manipulated by it. That seems to me to be an important first step towards workers' empowerment.

  • posted by weiser
  • Tue, Jul 1, 2003 8:37am

Hey windsor, you have to understand that Wal-Mart is nothing more than a red herring. Costco is digging a bigger hole in Loblaw's pocket than Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart is going to get into the grocery business in any way that will challenge Loblaw, it will have to buy an existing chain.

Food prices and profit margins, when you take the exchange rate into consideration, are much lower in Canada. Likewise the market is near saturated. Loblaw, is prevented by law by expanding its market share in Ontario. If it wants to expand it has to look at the West.

Face it, Wal-Mart is biteing at Zellers ass and Zellers is fending it off. The general merchandise markets aren't saturated, so that's where the threat lies.

Loblaw wants to make money in general merchandise. The Real Canadian Superstores have lower rates in general merchandise. (It's funny that the Manitoba organizers didn't tell the Wal-Mart employees that they will never see grocery cashier rates or hours.)

The UFCW calls Wal-Mart bastards but hasn't made on disparaging remark about the Loblaw crew that is slashing your wages on the way to non-union Wal-Mart levels.

Remote viewer linked to a great article above:


Union representatives, particularly those in the biz-unions, have been swallowing the BS hook, line and sinker for well over two decades now. They've even rationalized their gullibility with some farfetched theories: The concessions we bargained were necessary to give the business a chance to get established. The concessions we bargained were necessary because the business threatened to leave town. The concessions we bargained were necessary because the company promised us thousands of new members in exchange and that will, one day in the distant future, make us a great union. The concessions we bargained were necessary because of the competition. When things get better, the company will give back - we just know it. If you're a committed biz-unionist, any one of these will do.

It's time we learned the truth about the competition so that when the song and dance is performed next time at bargaining we can tell the management negotiators where to take their act.

The big difference this time is Loblaw couldn't even wait until bargaining. Is that because they knew their friends couldn't sell it when the contract was open? windsor help to get the truth out about the swindle that's being dumped on the Loblaw employees.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Tue, Jul 1, 2003 9:25am

I am glad to see that someone other than myself is looking into what exactly it is that we can do to stop this mandate. It may be too late for the people in this local , mainly, because we have been told that the union is scheduled to meet with the company on July 9th with the outcome of the votes. Apparantly , we are supposed to be having our next meeting with the union on July 10th with the rest of the info on this mandate. Kind of like waiting for the other shoe to drop.

No other info is forth coming from the union until then. Attempts to reach them via the web or phone has been unsuccessful. There has been a lot of good information put forward by other people on this web site and for that I am grateful, I intend to contact these organizations and at least inform them as to what is going on. It wont help us but it might change the tactics used by the union in obtaining the votes they need to get something like this ever passed again.

Because of my age this mandate is changing my whole life. I am being forced into early retirement which means my pension benefits are going to be drastically affected. I cannot and will not stay employed by a company that thinks so little of the people who got them this far that they would even entertain a motion such as was put to us. Now I am looking forward to the next phase of my life , which hopefully means employment with a much better class of management than my present employer. You know that old adage DO ONTO OTHERS welllllll what goes around comes around and I only hope that I am there when the upper management get bit on the butt and are put in the same spot they have put the rest of us into.

  • posted by BillPearson
  • Tue, Jul 1, 2003 10:47am

A word to the wise: Quit letting employers divide us into groups of this or that. Ever notice how it becomes the union/non-union; the part-timers/full-timers; the cashiers/stockers; the men/women; the young/old.

Here's the ticket, we are all workers, all susceptible to getting screwed by the folks rv described. The profit mongers and corporate whores could give a shit less about us. Divide and conquer has been a strategy sinse time immemorial, and we ought to be smart enough to recognise it, and say hell no, you ain't doing it to US.

Get it in your heads, just cause they chop a bunch of workers at corporate, doesn't make it okay for them to demand rollbacks. Is Loblaws profitable? If the answer is yes, then we best be demanding our share. For some strange reason, we lost that simple premise; workers are entitled to get their share, without US , they have squat.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Tue, Jul 1, 2003 4:27pm

In reply to bill pearson. I hope you don't think I am in one of the categories you listed as we against them. I voted NO in our last contract because of what it was doing to anyone who was to be a new hire. Mainly because of the fact that it made it impossible for anyone to ever reach top rate let alone the hope of getting a full time position. And I certainly voted NO for this mandate again because of what it will do to anyone ever to be hired by either zehr's or loblaw's in the future.

Every one of us involved has the opportunity and right to complain about what is happening but those of us who voted no have to continue to shout it from the roof tops so that maybe we can get through to the ones involved who have voted yes ( for reasons of their own ) in the hopes that we can change their minds.

  • posted by BillPearson
  • Tue, Jul 1, 2003 4:43pm

Wasn't pointing any fingers hwga. The sad fact is, many of us in leadership positions turned our backs on new hires for years. We dug our own hole, knowing those yet to be hired wouldn't vote on the contract in question. Years of taking care of the folks at the top has killed us. If we are looking to assess blame, there is no shortage to go around.

What is really scary is, those newbies are all grown up, and often don't have the same allegiance to the Union we did back from the 60's and 70's. It's even worse than that as oldtimers retire or are bought out. You can see it coming, and you have to wonder, will the Union leadership be smart enough to do something/anything to stop the erosion.

BTW, good on you for doing the right thing. When we start caring about each other, and not just our own little world, we'll all be better off.

  • posted by weiser
  • Wed, Jul 2, 2003 6:23am


  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Jul 2, 2003 5:34pm

I have some further thoughts that I wanted to share with the people who are considering a DFR complaint:

Remember, to successfully argue that your union has breached Section 74 (the DFR provision) of the Labour Relations Act, you must persuade the OLRB that your union acted in a way that was arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith.

The argument for "arbitrary" might be: The union entered into negotiations to change your collective agreement without consulting with the members. Union officials entered into a tentative agreement without ever even telling the members they were engaged in discussions with the employer about concessions.

The argument for "bad faith" might be: The union acted in a covert (secretive) manner, presenting the finished product as a "done deal". This suggests that the union was acting in concert with the employer for the purposes of helping the employer achieve its objectives, rather than acting in the interests of the members.

I've been trying to think of an argument that could be made about discrimination and here's something that has occurred to me:

A disproportionate number of members affected by the concessions are women (if this is true). The deal is therefore - arguably - a violation of the Human Rights Code and the union has engaged in a discriminatory practice by (a) agreeing to it and (b) seeking to have it approved by the members.

This is an argument that you may want to consider. It will be an argument that the union will scoff at but this doesn't mean it shouldn't be made. The union will likely say, "hey, the deal affects everybody, women and men, so how can it be discriminatory". Well, that in itself isn't always enough to get you out of the woods. If the concessions affect more women workers than men, they may still be discriminatory. "We didn't intend to discriminate" doesn't get anyone off the hook either.

The fact is that women workers have been especially hard hit by concessions in the unionized retail food industry. There is some literature out there that talks about the negative impact of concessions on women workers in the supermarket industry that you may want to have a look at. This book in particular may be of interest to you as it goes into a lot of detail about how women workers have been screwed in the collective bargaining process within Ontario supermarkets. The author is a Professor at York University who has written a lot on this subject. (If you make this argument and get all the way to a hearing you may want to contact her to see if she might be willing to appear as an expert witness for you on this subject. I have no idea whether she would or wouldn't but it might be worth exploring.)

Again, just some thoughts on this. DFR's are an uphill battle but if you're going there, might as well go armed with as many arguments as you can.

  • posted by siggy
  • Thu, Jul 3, 2003 6:20pm

Has anyone ever heard of an *enabling clause*?

Can't remember but it is either Lucerne Dairy or Dairyland workers who were blessed with an enabling clause in the last agreement between them (teamsters?) and the employer.

The enabling clause gave the two parties (company and machine) the right to open the contract without the members mandate and without them knowing it was open too. Sound familiar?

Seems the information that the clause was in the contract slipped past the members when they ratified the last agreement.

Anyway ... what is an *enabling clause* Is it a regular, common kinda' undemocratic practice?

  • posted by weiser
  • Fri, Jul 4, 2003 6:51am

Our friends at the GATT say:


Enabling Clause
Formally, the "Decision on Differential and More Favorable Treatment, Reciprocity, and Fuller Participation of Developing Countries" that was negotiated during the Tokyo Round as Part I of a new "Framework Agreement" on International Trade. The "Enabling Clause" legalized the extension by developed Contracting Parties of GATT of preferences to developing countries, notwithstanding the most-favored-nation treatment required under GATT Article 1.

I think "more favourable treatment" says it all.

I think it's more like an "extention" of the agreement without opening it.

Oh my gosh!!!! Isn't that what was done with the UFCW and Loblaw???

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Fri, Jul 4, 2003 7:14am

Hold on a minute here. I'm beginning to get a very queasy feeling about this. I myself have never heard of a "enabling clause" in a collective agreement, particularly one that allows for changes to be made in the agreement without the knowledge or consent of the members.

I think that the day is fast approaching when the practice of doing deals in secret must be challenged, in some formal way, as something that contravenes the spirit and intent of labour relations legislation.

I can hear you all laughing at that statement because, as I'm all too aware, the legislation is structured to give employers and unions the power to do whatever the hell they want. However, one of the principles that the architects of the legislative scheme used to justify giving the "parties" this kind of power over the lives of millions of working people is that the union would act in the interests of the members. Requirements around the ratification of collective agreements and the requirement to re-open bargaining only at the expiry of a collective agreement exist (at least in part) for this purpose.

If the members are completely cut out of the process and employers and unions can do whatever the hell the want, when they want, without regard to the wishes of the members, that's inconsistent with the intent of the legislation.

Enabling clauses of the kind that siggy is raising may just formalize a practice that employers and unions have been engaging in for years, but that doesn't make it right.

Sooner or later, workers who feel that they are nothing more than the doormat for a bunch of well-heeled bosses from their workplace and their union office, are going to rebel. When they do, the legislative scheme is going to collapse. Maybe it's time that happened.

  • posted by <Milton>
  • Fri, Jul 4, 2003 9:04am

Is it not human nature that when you get a great deal on something you gloat about it? ( a new car, furniture,house...) How about a real sweet deal on a work contract? If this was such a "victory" (to use a term I've read on this site regarding the UFCW's stand on it) then why all the secrecy? Why can't you contact the union, why has there web site been down since the very first leak of this?(ufcw1000a) Why Why Why? ? ? Oh I think maybe the answer is in my first line, You only gloat if you got a good deal other wise you try to avoid talking about the "price" at all.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Fri, Jul 4, 2003 9:35am

I read through the contract book that all employees of zehr's received when our new contract was signed and nowhere did I find a mention of the clause you are refering to. So if it is in there it is well hidden.

I also got some info from a few other employees about the outcome of the other votes on this mandate and apparantly it was passed by a majority of those who showed up for the meetings. I guess that means that we have collectively sold each other down the road to ruin. Regardless of the fact that the company is not going to ask for anymore or anyless until the next contract negotiations we might as well all start to look for new jobs now and avoid the rush that will occur in 3 years. At least that will enable you to get a few years seniority with a new employer because planning a future with the loblaw's group is definately wishful thinking.

My condolenscenses to all the people that this is going to affect but just remember everything happens for a reason and this may be the beginning of a much brighter and happier future for everyone. I personally cannot take another day looking into the eyes of my fellow employees who are so sad and lost as to what to do next. Keep your chin up and think positive all will work out in the end.

  • posted by weiser
  • Fri, Jul 4, 2003 9:52am

Most people don't fully understand the power they hand to the machine heads when they join a union.

Labour boards insist on votes under certain circumstances like strikes and certifications, but the "Bargaining Agent" has the power and authority to simply sign agreements on behalf of bargaining unit members without their consent.

All bargaining agents sign binding agreements, but they usually add a "subject to," which requires their members to "ratify" the agreement. They do this, hopefully, because it is the right thing to do. However, some begrudgingly do it because their By-Laws or Constitution requires them to.
If you look at this baby, you'll see that some unions totally ignore those types of things.

Someone in this or another thread said that their UFCW local had somewhere near 75 Letters of Understanding tucked away out of sight in the union office filing system. A letter of understanding is a binding contract with a life span that can have a huge effect on a bargained collective agreement.

In short, some unions agree to gut their own agreements with letters or agreement, but the general membership might have little if any inkling that they exist or that what their collective agreement says and what it means are totally different.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Fri, Jul 4, 2003 10:08am

someone once again please explain to me the benfits of belonging to a union when they can for a mere pittance from your weekly pay cheques arbitarily give away any or all of the benefits they so boastfully declare they themselves had achieved through tough negoitiations with the company .

If I am going to get shafted I would prefer it was because of something I myself had done or said , rather than the actions of a completely unrelated individual or group of individuals. You are right WE GIVE ALL THE AUTHORITY TO THE WRONG GROUP OF PEOPLE. It makes as much sense as running around with a sieve and trying to catch a bucket of water. Good exersice but nothing good is accomplished.

  • posted by weiser
  • Fri, Jul 4, 2003 10:16am

Do you want an argument for belonging to a union or do you want one for belonging to the UFCW Canada?

If it's the latter, there ain't no rational or sane argument. Give UFCW Canada a few more years and UFCW Canada members will flock to non-union Wal-Marts for a pay raise and better working conditions.

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Sat, Jul 5, 2003 11:36am

I knew that we were screwed when it was announced that Local 1000A representing Loblaws stores, accepted the deal because a vote from their 'directors'!!! What the hell kind of crap is this?
The only way to have challenged the company was for the three union presidents and their boss,the Canadian director, to all stand up together and walk out themselves. But what did they do? They gave in at the top. They let John Lederer (from the company) walk out of the meetings. Who has balls here? Not the union. Then Local 1000A caves in with their directors voting instead of the members. They didn't even give the Loblaws membership the ability to even pretend that they had a say. And for that matter, what the hell is going on at Local 175? Do they even know???

The CAW is looking a lot better right now than ever before.

  • posted by Duffbeer
  • Sat, Jul 5, 2003 2:20pm

Poor Mr. Weston .

Way cleared for Weston's Selfridges bid


A possible suitor for Selfridges PLC has declined to bid on the upscale London department store, paving the way for Canadian billionaire Galen Weston to acquire the retailer.

Aletheia Partners, backed by property investor Robert Tchenguiz, confirmed yesterday that it will not make an offer for Selfridges after rumours circulated that he was prepared to trump Mr. Weston's all-cash offer of 628-million ($1.4-billion) with an offer of 650-million ($1.46-billion).

A cynic could say that the UFCW helped make this happen.
Maybe they will offer discounts to Loblaws/Zehrs employees.


Industry watchers say Mr. Weston will take the helm at a very opportune time, as fresh capital from a veteran retailer is needed to expand Selfridges and sustain its buzz.

The chain is known best for its flagship store on London's tony Oxford Street but has two stores in Manchester and sites under development in Birmingham and Glasgow. Sites are also planned in Bristol and Leeds.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Sat, Jul 5, 2003 5:33pm

Loblaws had an article in the London Free Press today about their new 140 thousand sq. foot store going in London. They made no mention of rcss and repeated many times that it would be a Loblaws. I can't believe that the press hasn't jumped on this story. I have called four major papers but I guess it's not much of a story for them.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Sat, Jul 5, 2003 5:59pm

The mainstream media doesn't understand workers' issues so it doesn't cover them. This is understandable when you consider who owns the mainstream media and who works for them. Newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations are just for-profit companies, staffed by a lot of upwardly mobile, status conscious, self-serving people who call themselves journalists because it sounds better than "news manager" or "information programmer".

This is why we need our own media and some of us are working real hard to make it happen.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Sun, Jul 6, 2003 6:15am


I knew that we were screwed when it was announced that Local 1000A representing Loblaws stores, accepted the deal because a vote from their 'directors'!!! What the hell kind of crap is this?

I would it's not the kind of crap that anyone should have to pay dues for. I think somewhere in this thread someone asked "what's the benefit of belonging to a union?" There is no benefit unless the union is entirely committed to advancing the interests of the members.

Maybe those who are dissatisfied with the way that you are being represented should go looking for another union or form one of your own or something. Why the hell not? Just pick up the phone and call a bunch of different union and say, "We're not happy with the way our union is representing us. We're exploring some alternatives. Would your union be interested in talking to us and telling us what you have to offer?"

You'll get some nervous people on the phone because the ufcw is a big player in the CLC and the provincial labour federations and well, you know, this would be raiding which is bad - it's really bad to take another union leader's property, don't you know? Don' let this crap hold you back. You may find a good organization that's willing to help you or you may determine that your only good option is to start a union of your own. The exploration process helps you to get a better sense of which options are viable.

I have to say again, I am completely amazed that a bunch of supposedly smart, savvy union leaders would swallow a pretty standard management song-and-dance about concessions and that their national and international leaders would stand on the sidelines with their thumbs up their bums and their minds in neutral and let it happen.

Something is about this makes me wonder what's really driving UFCW Canada in all this. This is a completely unnecessary bending-over for the mother-of-all-management-partners. Why did Kevin, Brian and Wayne roll over so quickly and so quietly? Suspicious minds want to know...

  • posted by <Milton>
  • Sun, Jul 6, 2003 10:17am

Re: Zehrs Loblaws Fortinos
For those of you wondering why Fortinos membership has not been made aware of whats going on it's because they are not involved, the deal is that Loblaws and Zehrs will change their banners to (RCSS) and work under Fortinos (which are franchise stores for anyone who does not know) currant UFCW contract.

  • posted by weiser
  • Sun, Jul 6, 2003 10:19am

Y'know, a guy was telling me a story the other day about a union with a real sick pension plan:  -

To keep it afloat, the union had to go hat in hand to some of its closests of company friends to ask if there was any way they could see their way clear to helping out with a mid-contract pension contribution bump.

The friendly employers gave the dough and then one day they showed up on the union's door step and said, "Hey Muchachos! It's pay-back time!"

The Union quickly agreed to whatever the companies asked for. It was the only way the union could show how greatful it was.

I said to the guy, "Bullshit! No union would stoop to anything like that."

He just opened his eyes wide, raised his eybrows, chuckled and walked away.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Sun, Jul 6, 2003 8:26pm

Does anyone know if 1000A has had any meetings and if so what are they offered?

  • posted by <Milton>
  • Mon, Jul 7, 2003 5:24am

Member # 372
posted 07-06-2003 08:26 PM

Does anyone know if 1000A has had any meetings and if so what are they offered?

The 1000a steward's had a meeting last week with one scheduled for the membership on July 17, but you seem confused there is no offer, the meetings are just to let you know how far the Union has agreed to let you bend over for the company !

  • posted by cointoss
  • Mon, Jul 7, 2003 7:10am

I know the situation and I know there is no "offer". What I want to see if it is the same as Zehr's in regard to buy-down, xmas bonus, vacation pay etc.. I can't see 1000A taking it as bad as 1977 since they represent so many workers in Toronto where the cost of living is so high.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Mon, Jul 7, 2003 7:17am

Dont fool yourself into beleiving that your union is about to represent this package to you any differently than our union did for us. You will be given the same old same old story of closeures if you dont accept it that we got. The only hope you have to turn this down is to pass this website on to as many of your fellow workers as I did and let them get informed from the workers involved so far with this fiasco. Make them fully aware of what is happening in our local (1977) and maybe they will have the fortitude it will take to turn it down. Then at least one local will not be dragged into this mess, GET THEM INFORMED BEFORE THEY VOTE . I wish we had the forwarning of what truely is involved with this mandate instead of the song and dance we were handed at the meeting by the people that are supposed to be looking out for our best interests.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Mon, Jul 7, 2003 10:07am

You may want to look at the Loblaw Companies Annual Report for 2002. Tell me if you can find any mention of their intention to open Real Canadian Superstores in Ontario. I've looked high and low and can't seem to find any mention of this at all. While there is mention of anticipated competition from non-union warehouse style competitors, it would seem that as of but a few months ago, the plan was to compete with these from the existing chains (rather than new ones). You'll also find a mention of the vast number of collective agreements that are expiring in 2003 and a statement that the company does not expect any particular problems settling these contracts. There is no mention of mid-term concessions or early re-openers. You'll also notice the glowing forecast for the future and the very impressive results for 2002.

All of this suggests to me that the secret discussions with UFCW leaders were just a lot of smog and mirrors.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Mon, Jul 7, 2003 3:41pm

I get the feeling that Lederer wants to make his mark. The mentality that the only peolple that count are the share holders sucks. Why doesn't the CLC make loblaws and westons a not-buy stock. Not a boycott which will hurt many employees but something that will hurt shareholders. I believe if you can get their attention you can turn this change down. All they want to do is make their money now. These investers are more drawn to our stock because of it's stability so I say we should rock the boat. Everyone should contact the press in their trading area and get some ink on this crap.

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Mon, Jul 7, 2003 5:43pm

I love when they talk about the shareholders. Well, guess who owns 61% of the company? I think his initials are GW. And the other guy who wants us to take a pay cut has had a base wage of One Million Two Hundred Thousand not including bonus and stock options. Are we returning to the 1900's???

  • posted by blasdell
  • Mon, Jul 7, 2003 6:07pm

I got a phonecall from the labour writer at the Star today and sent her the collective agreement and all the paper work available so far in 1000a.her name is anne perry.She is new but knows about UFCW's reputation for selling out workers.I amgoing to file a DFR complaint at the OLB.Please give me some feedback on these arguments.#1 all managers out of the union in RCSS appendix.... contrary to Labour Board decisions and ruled on many times.#2 Sunday work voluntary but no wording in RCSS appendix stating same.#3 Loblaw Co. Ltd + UFCW conspired together to deprive workers in a mutually beneficial relationship to deprive workers of a ratification vote.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Mon, Jul 7, 2003 7:20pm

Good Luck. Everything you state sounds like the 'offer' for 1977 too.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Tue, Jul 8, 2003 8:28am

once again I have been trying to get ahold of someone , anyone actually , in the union office to give me some info on exactly how this buy out/earlly retirement clause is going to work and have come up empty handed. Either no one knows or no one is willing to step out on the limb and give a heads up to the members about it.

Where can we go for the info we need. The web site is empty on any mention of further meetings for us . To say that this is becoming increasingly frustrating would be more than a mild statement. How high up the food chain do we go for the info and even if we get to where we have to go will they in fact give the info to us. I bet no one involved is willing to do that. I would assume that someone knows the answer , how do we , as members , find out who to go to for those answers???

Am I the only one in local 1977 that is wondering how badly I am going to be shafted??

  • posted by cointoss
  • Wed, Jul 9, 2003 5:58am

I still think that if we stood our ground, or rather if our union stood our ground then Loblaws would back down. I hate the lack of press on this. It is like we are going "silently into the night". I am sure that anything we do to have a negative impact on stock prices will help us and that is why I want this out in the open. Meanwhile our local is still focusing on petty grievences and putting up a strong show. Give me a break!! What you are accepting is giving up what our predecessors fought long and hard for these last fifty years. I think it has a lot to do with the Zehrs and Fortinos strikes in the last three years. These guys can't accept the fact that we have balls.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Jul 9, 2003 6:23am


Where can we go for the info we need.

You should consider writing to the UFCW National and International Offices and demanding some answers.

Watch this site for more information and opinion on this situation over the next few days.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Wed, Jul 9, 2003 7:58am

I just sent an email to the canadian national site for the ufcw asking the questions I would greatly appreciate answers to. Hopefully someone there will respond. At this point I have a very low opinion of our leadership and I sure wont be changing it until I hear something positive from someone up the food chain.

I find it hard to believe that everyone involved can be as deceptive as our local leaders have been. Surely there is a person involved who still has some sort of moral fiber left in them to do something about this. Maybe I am just naive but I have lived all my life believing that you do right by everyone. Right is right and wrong is definately wrong. AND THIS IS WRONG.

I sure hope good news or at the very least proper information is forthcoming from the national membership leaders.I dont believe that their heads are fully buried in the sand, maybe they just arent aware of how bad this situation has become.

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Wed, Jul 9, 2003 4:43pm

Here we go again.
I believe during our meeting, it was stated that all three Local Union Presidents were present with John Lederer and his assistant. Also present at some of the meetings was Michael J. Fraser, the Canadian Director of the UFCW. It would suggest that Mr. Fraser had at least the knowledge of these meetings, and possibly more than that. After all the 175, 1000A and 1977 Presidents would be under his direction.

  • posted by Duffbeer
  • Wed, Jul 9, 2003 11:24pm

Zehrs employees asked to join fight against Wal-Mart


By Erik White
St. Catharines Standard
Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 02:00

Local News - Employees of Zehrs stores in St. Catharines will vote tonight on changing the stores' identity to help to fight off an incursion into the grocery business by American retail behemoth Wal-Mart.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. plans to rebrand all its Ontario Zehrs, Fortino's and Loblaw's outlets as Real Canadian Superstores and open new stores under that banner that feature significantly more department store-type merchandise.

United Food and Commercial Workers' Local 1977, which represents all Zehrs employees, has reached an agreement with the company on the strategy and for the past two weeks has been holding membership meetings across the province seeking a mandate to finalize the deal.

Scott Penner, the union's secretary-treasurer, hails the agreement as a landmark pact that will maintain all existing employee rights and benefits, while allowing the company to cut labour costs during the infancy of the new chain.

He said anyone hired for the expanded housewares department at an existing store or those working at a new store would receive lower wages than current employees. Rumours have it that a new store is slated for the retail complex on Fourth Avenue in St. Catharines.

Ontario supermarkets are worried Wal-Mart will come to dominate the grocery market the way it has in the U.S. because the chain has started adding grocery aisles to some of its Canadian stores, including the store on Vansickle Road in west St. Catharines.

'In general, and in Canada specifically, Wal-Mart is getting more and more into food retail and this is an area of concern for all grocery stores,' Penner said.

Zehrs workers from the Pen Centre and Fairview Mall stores will vote on the issue by secret ballot at the Quality Hotel and Parkway Convention Centre at 7:30 p.m. today.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Thu, Jul 10, 2003 6:30am

so scott penner says we will retain all our rights and benifits. why not mention that they will be at lower levels? Vote? what vote? Maybe I was wrong to want to see this in the press. Now I have to put up with more half-truths and lies.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Thu, Jul 10, 2003 6:30am

This goes along with the article in the London paper about the new "Loblaws" store. Whatever happened to getting both sides of the story BEFORE you run it?

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Thu, Jul 10, 2003 6:50am

Company's new plans for uncommitted large store sites (2003/2004)

Type code: NR-New replacement store, NS-New store, NSR-New store with union successor right's

LOCATION - Type- Original Intention - Option 1 - Option 2

AJAX: #2 & Harwood - NR - LOBLAWS - RCSS - YIG
OTTAWA: Richmond & Kirkwood - NS - LOBLAWS - YIG - RCSS
OAKVILLE: Trafalgar & Hwy5 - NR - LOBLAWS - RCSS - YIG
OTTAWA: Blair & Ogilvie - NR - LOBLAWS - YIG - RCSS
TORONTO: Don Mills & Eglinton - NS - LOBLAWS - RCSS - YIG
LONDON: Oxford & Gammage - NS - LOBLAWS - YIG - RCSS
NEWMARKET: Young & Greenlane - NR - LOBLAWS - YIG - RCSS
TORONTO: Bayview - NSR - LOBLAWS - (commited to landlord)
MISSISSAUGA:Winston Churchhill & 401 - NS - LOBLAWS - RCSS - YIG
OTTAWA: 10th & Innes - NS - LOBLAWS - YIG - RCSS
TORONTO: Dufferin & Steeles - NR - LOBLAWS - RCSS - YIG
OSHAWA: Taunton Road & Harmony - NS - LOBLAWS - RCSS - YIG
WINDSOR:Walker Rd & Durlsin - NR - ZEHRS - RCSS - YIG
TORONTO: 401 & Weston Road - FORTINOS - RCSS - YIG
TORONTO: Black Creak & Eglinton - FORTINOS - RCSS - YIG
GUELPH: Starwood & Watson - NR - ZEHRS - YIG - RCSS

  • posted by here we go again
  • Thu, Jul 10, 2003 7:04am

It's nice to see that Mr. Penner can answer questions for the media. Too bad the dues paying members of the union cannot get him to answer our questions. If I knew that I had to hang a camera around my neck to get simple responses to my questions I would have done so long ago.

You are right , too bad he couldnt let the reporter in on all the benefits of this new mandate. I wonder when all the dust settles how many people at top rate will be left at zehrs/loblaws and if they will be lowering their prices to reflect the lowered costs of wages that they say they need to have to compete. I DOUBT THAT WILL HAPPEN.

Not long ago we were given a terrific speech by our store manager telling us that zehrs was as successful as it is because of the people they have hired in each and every store. That it is the staff on the front lines the customer sees and it is the staff that keeps the public coming back every week to shop at a store that makes them feel comfortable. YEAH RIGHT??????

After all is said and done there will be absolutely no difference between shopping at a zehrs store or a price chopper store. Except that zehrs will still be more expensive.

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Thu, Jul 10, 2003 3:06pm

It is important to remember that since our last President (of Zehrs) has left, and Senior Vice Presidents have taken over, Zehrs as a banner has had little say in the operation. The head office combining with the other banners in Brampton next spring is only the final stage. This company is run out of St. Clair Street in Toronto now.
So many principles that Zehrs workers have practised over the years have been replaced with new rules and regulations from Loblaw's East head office. Probably it is a good time to drop the Zehrs name. It is not Zehrs anymore.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, Jul 10, 2003 4:01pm

The article that Duffbeer posted: Zehrs employees asked to join fight against Wal-Mart

Is this what passes for journalism today? The "fight against Wal-Mart" is a fiction. There is no "fight". What there is is a free market where competition among businesses is a constant and necessary activity. One of Wal-Mart's competitor' has discovered that it can achieve a competitive advantage by manipulating its workers out of their contractual entitlements and it's enlisted the support of their bargaining agent in this mission.

That's what this story is about. It's not a "fight". It's an exploitive business strategy that needs to be exposed and a pathetic dereliction of responsibility by the union that also needs to be hung out for public viewing.

"The Fight Against Wal-Mart" my butt! This is like the Canadian grocery kings' version of the War on Terrorism.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Thu, Jul 10, 2003 7:32pm

The UFCW should not be complicit with the Company wishes.Are they so myopic that they cannot see at all, eventually after they have done all the Companies dirtywork they will be the last target.The silence from Loblaws is deafening.

  • posted by <Mag>
  • Fri, Jul 11, 2003 3:26am

I agree bb. This company will demand even more down the road. Yet the executive will be willing to pay themselves more and more. This is all about fewer people making more and more money in the end.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Fri, Jul 11, 2003 5:28am

the question is not IF but WHEN the other shoe will drop. the next contract will be for 10 years and include an increase to 10,000 or more hours to reach top rate ( which incidentally will be less than top rate is at present ) and little if any benefits probably a decrease in the amount the company will contribute to our pension funds , no Christmas bonus , and of course our union dues will automatically go up.

How long will it be before zehr's/loblaws winds up with no one to work in their stores that has any kind of experience at all? Who will be willing to work somewhere for 10 or more years to make top
rate? It is a shame that a business can go so far down the ladder in such a short period of time. I will bet the founders of zehrs ( if they were still here) would be sorrifully dissappointed in what their efforts have come to.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Fri, Jul 11, 2003 8:01am

The next contract has a quarantee of no wage or benifit concessions. You can bet it will be a one year contract. I agree that the one after that will be long and I doubt if the buy-down will apply , you will just lose everything through negotiations. Keep your head up and good luck.

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Fri, Jul 11, 2003 1:57pm

Loblaws vs. Wal-Mart:
The Union Takes a Stand
Protecting UFCW jobs,wages and contracts,Now and in the future. June 2003

- Wal-Mart is aggressively expanding its retail food sales. Has its sites on southern Ontario, Canadas biggest market place.
- Loblaws is Canadas largest retailer, the only one that can take on Wal-Mart.
- Loblaws has decided to take on Wal-Mart and accelerate industry transition to super stores.
- Many UFCW members will be affected and soon.
- Here's the situation...
- The company is no longer going to build large conventional Loblaws, Zehrs and Fortinos stores.
- In December 2002, announced a business decision to move to Real Canadian Superstore (RCSS) or other non-union format, with deferent wage rates, benefits & working conditions with or without union agreement.
- The new stores will carry at least 35% Department Store-Type Merchandise (DSTM)
- Company is responding to the threat of Wal-Mart Supercenters (WMSC) invading the food retail business, as has happened in the U.S.
- They believe that WMSC will have a major competitive advantage over existing Loblaws/Zehrs formats.
- Wal-Mart already has 5% of retail food sales in Canada and wants much more.
- All employees in conventional banners are potentially affected.
- A significant number of store closures/conversions are expected, beginning this year and continuing for several more.
- There will be considerable employee movement due to bumping.
- It's happening now ! The following stores were going to be large conventional stores but have now been put on hold: ( Note: check earlier post on this site for complete list of stores affected (07-10-2003 page 4 of posts)
- In most of these locations automatic successor rights are not guaranteed.
- We've been meeting with the company since the December announcement.
- All affected UFCW Canada Local Unions and the National Office have worked together on a unified response to the company's position on the future.
- We are challenging the company's plans to unilaterally impose drastic changes on existing employees and contracts.
- We've been demanding strong job security and income protection for our existing members throughout the transition period, however long it takes.
- Looking at legal challenges on successor rights and related employer rights.
- We will be communicating with activists and all members to keep everyone up to date on the situation.
- The company will not be opening conventional replacement stores for those stores slated to be closed.
- Different workers will be affected in different ways, Impact on you will depend on the following factors:
-Whether your store is closing
-Your level of seniority
-Your status (part-time or full time)
- Wal-Mart's retailing methods and relentless anti-union policies have cost tens of thousands of union retail food jobs in the U.S.
- Wal-Mart labor costs are lower, Rates go up to $9.65 after TEN years ($10. in Toronto), Most "associates" quit within two years, Workers pay for most of their own benefits, when eligible, Unpaid overtime a daily reality at Wal-Mart.
- Put a hold on all new store development under conventional Loblaws/Zehrs banners.
- announced in December that the stores of the future in Ontario will be RCSS--as has been happening for several years in Western and Atlantic Canada--or other non-union format such YIG ( YOUR INDEPENDENT GROCER).
- Advised the locals ( 175, 1000a, 1977 ) that all new replacement stores planned for 2003-04 are not going to open under the current collective agreements.
- The above include 31 Loblaw/Zehrs/Fortinos.
- Over half are replacements of current stores,but on new sites. { Successor rights not guaranteed}
- Told the locals that labour costs at these new stores must allow them to compete with Wal-Mart Supercenters.
- Co. is prepared to open these stores under a non-union banner.
- Co. will open these stores whether or not there is an immediate nearby Wal-Mart threat.
- Because brand loyalty is important, Co. would prefer adding RCSS to established banners (e.g. Loblaws RCSS or Zehrs RCSS instead of just RCSS ). BUT...
- If they put the Loblaws/Zehrs banner on an RCSS, union could (and would ) apply the existing collective agreement.
- Control over the Loblaw/Zehrs banners gives us bargaining power.
- All contract rights at existing sites are fully protected. (e.g. exercise seniority to bump if there's a closure or conversion.)
- These protections include stores built on abutting property or in the same mall.
- Company has sole control over which stores it closes and opens, and the banner under which new stores open.
- Co. has the ability to impose terms and conditions in new ( non-union ) RCSS and YIG stores and hire all new employees.
- No loss of existing full time jobs. Guarantee of employment extended to all FT hired prior to Jan. 1 2003.
- Affected FT & PT have wide range of options.
- A DSTM Appendix to current (parent collective agreement will apply to new Loblaw/Zehrs RCSS sites.
- Essentially same as Fortinos agreement (wage/benefits/language) with some variations.
-Maintains several features of parent agreement.
- Non-union Dept. mgrs. (& Asst. DM's) can only perform bargaining unit work in there own dept. Penalty applies.
- Example: Certain seniority provisions have right to post, transfer, bump, from one RCSS store to another) same as in parent agreement.
- FT & PT pensions retained from parent agreement.
- Part time- DSTM Departments (+8750hrs.)
06/29/03= $10.00 06/27/04=$10.00 06/26/05=$10.00
- Part time- Food Departments (6501hrs.)
- Clerks 06/29/03= $11.49 06/27/04=$11.79 06/26/05=$12.09
- Bakers 06/29/03= 14.80 06/27/04=$15.10 06/26/05=$15.40
- Meat cutters 06/29/03=$16.80 06/27/04=$17.10 06/26/05=$17.40
- Full Time- Food Departments
- Clerks 06/29/03=$17.05 06/27/04=$17.35 06/26/05=$17.65
- Baker 06/29/03=$17.89 06/27/04=$18.19 06/26/05=$18.49
- Meat cutter 06/29/03=$19.58 06/27/04=$19.88 06/26/05=$20.18
19: Existing rebuilt/renovated sites
- At existing conventional sites, following a rebuild/renovation, DSTM PT wage rate applies only to DSTM departments, and only if:
- Square footage of store is expanded by at least 50%
- Square footage of store is greater than 100,000
- 35% or more of the area of selling floor is dedicated to DSTM.
- All three criteria must be met. Conventional agreement applies in all other matters for both DSTM & non-DSTM workers.
- Wages/benefits of non-DSTM workers are not affected.
- There will be displacements, but all existing employees (FT & PT) maintain full seniority rights under parent agreement.
- No one will be required to transfer more than 40 km to keep there job in a conventional store ( provided there is a store within 40 km. )
- Generous relocation allowance for those who agree to transfer over 40 km. and choose to relocate.
- Generous early retirement option (ERO) for those 55 or older: Four weeks pay per year of service. Max: FT. $75,000 PT: $10,000.
- Excellent severance package - same as ERO (PLUS). Covers both FT and PT. Min for FT $10,000. Also PT minimum ( see next )
- Six-month RCSS trial transfer gives existing employees (FT or PT) right to return to conventional store without penalty.
- For those who choose a trial transfer, severance is held until decision to remain is declared.
- Generous RCSS Transfer Package: 3 weeks pay per year of service. Then you work under RCSS agreement. Min. $10,000 for FT.
- Even short service PT are eligible for severance and RCSS transfer package. Min. $500.00 for under 12 months, $1000.00 for 12+ months. PT max in both cases: $10.000.
- The union has negotiated a guarantee that the company will not propose wage or benefit concessions in the next contract negotiations and the next collective agreement will not contain any wage or benefit concessions.
- This means: No wage/benefit concessions regardless of the length of the contract beyond 2006. An unprecedented negotiating breakthrough.
- Company refuses to offer the agreement if Union requires a formal membership vote. Worried about legal complications of negative vote.
- Union says: "Members have the right to approve such a significant change in their collective agreement."
- Company adamant. Will not budge from their position.
- Company would be free to impose Wal-Mart wages, benefits and conditions throughout any new non-unionized RCSS/YIG stores.
- Workers affected by store closures would not have job offers at RCSS.
- No enhanced severance package, early retirement option or transfer packages.
- Company/Union would inevitably enter a long period of labor strife.
- Each local will seek a "mandate" for the President to finalize the proposed settlement.
- Each local will use its own consultative/democratic mechanisms to determine if the President has the required mandate.
- No local can bind another. Each will make its own decision.
- Lower labor costs in new RCSS stores that will go head-to-head with Wal-Mart
- Ability to expand existing conventional stores with lower DSTM costs.
- "Labor peace" for several years
- A smooth transition to new era in retail sector.
- Complete job/wage/benefit/pension security for existing members.
- Preservation of all collective agreements.
- Full range of union protection & contract rights for new RCSS workers.
- Generous early retirement, severance and transfer options, all voluntary.
- No concessions for several years. Members can plan for the longer term.
- Our members will have a smoother transition to new retail world than any other group of workers in North America.

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Fri, Jul 11, 2003 3:01pm

As some of you know the UFCW1000a web site has been down for quite some time now, well according to a letter I received yesterday from UFCW1000a it is due to them making a "dedicated" site ...........
I have checked a few times but as of yet its not up.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Fri, Jul 11, 2003 3:38pm

Thanks for posting the full text of the slide presentation. We're hoping to have a pdf'd version of it soon.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Fri, Jul 11, 2003 9:21pm

That is the exact text presented to 1977 Zehr's members.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Sat, Jul 12, 2003 8:44am

Decertification is a tough road,but now might be the time.Any contract more than 3 years in length is open on its anniversary. There is a 3 month window, mos. 34 to 37,mos.46 to 49, etc.We would need a contact in every store. Find another union willing to take us and just start signing up members inour own stores. I am sure we could get 40% to sign? "who wants to work for less money" could be our campaign slogan.We have a full year to work and the UFCW has very little presence in the stores.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Sat, Jul 12, 2003 10:53am

BB Your statement about the silence of Loblaws is so right. It really bothers me that our union is selling this so strongly. The mandate papers had too many adjectives for me. Words like" generous" should have been left out. I do not like being talked down to and I don't need a sell job , just the facts. I also want to know why our union still can't put up a strong front. I think it shows very poor leadership from the executive level. At store level a lot of us are quiet fearing pay-back from Loblaws. If you raise too many points the union will not defend you. Good Luck.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Sat, Jul 12, 2003 3:41pm

judging from the comments being made by many people reading the UFCW Slide Show post I would say that our union leaders have an awful lot to explain to an awful lot of members. I sure am glad that someone other than me is questioning the rationale behind such an agreement.

The more information that we can give to everyone else about this may turn things around. Its no wonder our leaders were upset when they found out that someone leaked this document to our local media just hours before our meeting. The were right , eventually everyone becomes informed and then they become militant as to wanting some decent answers for our questions. What would happen if we all just refused to go to work for a day or two until someone from the union stepped up to the plate and demanded a new informed vote by all parties involved. At least the argument of not being informed before voting would be solved once and for all. I think as members we should demand another vote THIS TIME WE WILL BE WELL INFORMED AS TO EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE VOTING ON.

Oh well, its probably against some law or rule and we would be fined horribly by the company and the union for pulling such and unfair and unjust trick. Wait a minute isnt that exactly what they did to us. Something about that saying that " turn about is fair play " rings true.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Sat, Jul 12, 2003 6:23pm

I am sure brian w. told you at your meeting that he did not "have" to have any meetings. He could accept these changes for us. Basically he is going to do what is right for the ufcw before the members. I am going to post this web site at work tomorrow.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Sat, Jul 12, 2003 6:41pm

come to think of it you're right, he did say that. I guess we should have taken that as a lead in to the rest of the evening and how it was going to play out. we were not being asked for our input or our approval. we were being TOLD what was going to be happening to us . with or without our ok. its not the company we have to worry about its the union leaders making decisions for us on our behalf without our ok.

I was under the impression that we controlled the outcome of contracts through a vote with the majority of votes determining the direction of where things were going. I guess I was wrong. This vote was controlled by the whim of our leaders under the pretext that they supposedly had our best interests at heart.

I have one puzzeling question : why was the union even entertaining the thought of opening up the contract when we still had 3 years to go on it. The company has to honour that contract until it is over. Once again that is 3 years away. At that point they could then demand whatever they want but it would have to be during negotiations of a new contract. It makes no sense to me at all.?????

  • posted by blasdell
  • Sat, Jul 12, 2003 7:20pm

the reason they opened the contract is that it benefitted "THEM"."THEY"don't have to get off their fat asses and organize the "new" banners.the new contract is basically the fortinos deal which the union conviently didn't have available at the stewards meeting held on July 4 for local 1000a

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Sun, Jul 13, 2003 7:43am

HWGA - refusing to work en masse would sure get your point across however your employer would claim that it's an illegal strike and possibly fire the whole lot of you (or anyone who participated in it anyway).

Another avenue for you to take is to write a letter to the UFCW National and International Offices setting out your concerns and your demands and ask everyone else who shares your views to do the same. Send a copy of your letter to as many people as you can think of who may be in a position to intervene on your behalf or to help you. Some suggestions:

Canadian Labour Congress
Ontario Federation of Labour
The Premier of Ontario
The Minister of Labour for Ontario
The leaders of the Ontario Liberal Party and the Ontario NDP

Don't expect the CLC, the OFL or even the Liberals and the NDP to come rushing in to help you. The CLC and OFL are UFCW fans and will do anything to avoid stepping on their leaders' toes. The same goes for the NDP. By contacting them, however, you will be raising awareness of what's going on and putting them in the awkward position of at least having to respond to you with something.

The Premier's office may be interested in what's going on. Ernie's gunning for undemocratic unions in the coming election. Of course he's doing it for his own agenda but you might get your issue on the political radar screen nonetheless.

The Minister of Labour's office may be able to give you some advice on how you might be able to pursue this issue through the Ontario Labour Relations Board. While you're on the phone with the Minister's staff, why not ask if the Ministry might be prepared to initiate a special investigation into what's going on? The Minister has the power to do this I believe.

You may want to contact the OLRB also and ask what remedies are available to you under the Labour Relations Act. Don't expect anyone there to be helpful. They don't like dealing with workers - just employers and unions. This notwithstanding, your taxes (and mine) do pay their salaries and you should remind them of this if they give you the brush off.

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Sun, Jul 13, 2003 7:58am

Yes bb I think that the most important focus to the unions is the voluntary recognition. They want the UFCW to keep growing in numbers (and dues also). It was stated that Michael Fraser (Canadian Director) was present at some of these meetings with John Lederer (Loblaw President). I wonder what Mr. Fraser's focus was? After all he would have to answer to the international President. Anyway that was the time to be united and the union to walk out of the meetings while saying to John Lederer, "Do what you are threatening to do."
The only card we had to play is brand recognition (Zehrs and Loblaws name) which the company would not be able to use anymore.
I was totaly discouraged when at our meeting it was stated the 1000A accepted the deal by having their directors (not the members) vote yes to the ransom. We were totaly beat then. So ok Zehrs turns it down, then they will use the Loblaws name on the fronts of the stores.
We should have had some tigers in that meeting with the company, willing to fight.
My last point is if anyone thinks that it is over (the company demanding more concessions) they are wrong. On another thread on this website a BC Real Canadian Superstore worker wrote that the company is beating the "Walmart is coming to town drum" and they want concessions. What a joke this all is. Right now the company is saying the becoming a RCSS is the answer to the Wallmart threat, yet they have had them for years out west and they are starting the same old tune out there.
This constant "we need more to compete to survive" is questionable. I have a feeling we will still be having this line shoved down our throats 10 years from now.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Sun, Jul 13, 2003 12:13pm

can someone give me a quick history of this site, and why do the moderators have ufcw e-mail addresses.

  • posted by <syb>
  • Sun, Jul 13, 2003 1:12pm

Cointoss, these might help:

[url=About the MFD[/url]

MFD sued over domain name (Second story from top)

  • posted by <syb>
  • Sun, Jul 13, 2003 1:14pm

Trying again with the links:

About the MFD

MFD sued over domain name (Second story from top)

  • posted by <syb>
  • Sun, Jul 13, 2003 1:19pm

MFD History Part 1
MFD History Part 2
MFD History Part 3

  • posted by here we go again
  • Sun, Jul 13, 2003 4:17pm

I asked this question in another forum but thought I would bring it up here as well in the hopes that someone who was at the London meeting today could give us some info on what went on?

Did you get a chance to ask questions and was the union head table forthcoming with its answers or did you get the usual Texas Two Step from them?

As I said before I am so darn weary of the confrontational attitude you get every time you dare to ask a question that requires a simple answer. By the time they dance around the issue you cant even remember what the heck it was you asked. I guess they would consider that MISSION ACCOMPLISHED . Dodged another bullet . and all that stuff. Anything but a true no - nonsense answer . Its enough to make you just want to throw your hands in the air and give up.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Sun, Jul 13, 2003 5:10pm

For those looking for a quick history of MFD, the links above will give you a really good idea. Just to help fill in some of the blanks, here's a bit more (and I'll ask the UFCW Local 1518 members to correct me if I've got anything wrong or fill in any other blanks). I always jump at the chance to tell this story because it's an amazing story about persistence, perseverance and how the damnedest assortment of people can make the damnedest things happen. It also holds out so much promise for the future.

In 1997. the leaders of UFCW Local 1518 agreed to an awful concessionary deal in negotiations with two large grocery chains in BC - Overwaitea Food Group (OFG) and Safeway. The lousy deal actually looks a lot like the lousy deal that's being foisted on workers in Ontario right now. From what I understand it was basically shoved down the members' throats at some hastily-called meetings held during the late summer (a bad time to get people out to meetings right?) in '97.

Workers who attended the ratification meetings reported a variety of tactics designed to get a "yes" vote. They arrived at the meetings without having a clue as to what was in the tentative agreement. Upon arriving at the ratification meetings they were handed a 50 page document written in legalese that contained the settlement and told they had exactly one hour to read it over and get familiar with it. Then there would be a vote, then there would be a question period.

Many of the members were really angry about how the ratification meetings had been set up. Those who could decipher the 50 page document in the one hour that they had to read it over were concerned about the terms of the deal: A two tier wage scale (with a whole new classification that would be paid a lot less than existing staff), all kinds of employer flexibility - and, if I recall correctly, voluntary recognition for the union at some "new banners".

The deal was ratified, amid a great deal of controvery - not unlike the controvery surrounding the "yes" vote to concessions that UFCW officials are trying to get in Ontario . A small but (from what I know) very committed and aggressive group, decided to run a slate of candidates in the next local election in an effort to get the leadership they wanted. The MFD Story: Parts 1 - 3 is an account of one of the candidates in that election. He, as well as others, who campaigned on the reform slate, did the unthinkable. They took on a group of favoured sons in a province-wide local and gave them one hell of a run for their money.

How did they do? Well, nobody knows and nobody ever will know. The night of the election, after the polls had closed, some UFCW officials took the ballot box away. I believe they took it to Toronto. This was in 1999. To date, the vote count has never been released and we doubt that it ever will be.

The UFCW's tin-pot dictator tactics led to the formation of UFCW Local 1518 MFD and the original version of this web site. This is what the site looked like in the summer of 2000. Local 1518 MFD filed a lawsuit to get the UFCW to open the ballot box from its 1999 election and reveal the results (in Canada, there is not other recourse in a situation like this other than to proceed through the courts). The small group that led this battle did some pretty commendable things. They raised their own legal funds, they got some local media attention, they developed their web site as a really effective venue for communication - one of the few labour-oriented sites in 2000 (and to this day) with an online discussion forum.

By 2001, however, they had run out of funds and, with their day in court still years away possibly, the small group folded its tent.

Some of the original members as well as a few others from the broader community of workers (like me!) who had come across the site and had done what we could to help the Local 1518 members in whatever small way we could, thought it would be a damned shame to see the web site fold.

After a bit of hurried discussion in the summer of 2001 (probably two years from this very day for all I know) we - those of us who were left - decided to see if we might be able to keep it going albeit with a much more expanded focus (the community of workers rather than just Local 1518 members) and with a somewhat broader objective (the empowerment of workers everywhere by making available "knowledge" of what's going on and providing a venue where workers can talk directly to each other about what's happening, what's wrong and what kind of future they want).

It's been a very cool two years since then and I can hardly wait to see where we're at two years from now. A whole lot of people didn't think we'd last more than a few weeks but here we are!

Yes, in early 2002 the dimwits at the UFCW filed a lawsuit against this site (and various other Canadian activists) for having the balls to criticize them. We're really not sure what they're beefing about and it really doesn't matter - we're still here and they're... on a slippery slope. They won't stop us because we have the power of our beliefs behind us and the power of the Internet at our disposal.

Anyway, that's a bit of history from me. This site is unusual and so are the people who are making it happen. We're a media site for working people - an interactive resource for people who want to get to know their workplace environment and engage the future. Everyone here contributes in their own way. Feel free to make use of this site. It's here for you and your coworkers.

If you have any other questions about MFD, feel free to ask. I could run on and on and on about this but I probably should go have a smoke break.

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Sun, Jul 13, 2003 5:29pm

I realize that when the mind and soul have had enough, you would like to give up on the fight. Strange thing, it will not happen. Once the fight has been 'imbedded', it will never leave. One day, we may be, hopefully, sitting in some old folks home ~listening to the Beatles~ wondering - how and why did this happened? We did not bargain for this in any union.

Regardless what union or affiliation you belong to, I think it is time the rank and file rise up to the pocket lined executives. They have, for far too long, jingled and jangled along a road that is well paved by their membership. At some point, down the paved street, they are going to hit gravel..I think a bumpy ride, the SUV they are driving - ten to one, the shocks were purchased at a walmart.

Until the rank and file realize they do have a right to a vote, a right to speak, and a right to write, much is not going to change. However, it appears far too many card holding members in any union, sit back on some lounge chair while their union meeting is going on and if they can get off it, to attend, never have the guts to tell the executive,
Enough is Enough, fu

BTW, if any union executive finds this post or the day strange - "nobody told me there would be days like these - strange days indeed". Unfortunately, you executives opt not to register, ...'strange days indeed'...

  • posted by blasdell
  • Sat, Jul 19, 2003 5:07pm

the reason that nothing has happened at Zehrs is they are just making sure there are no challenges.Someone at zehrs has got to get in touch with the ontario labour board.The fact that an agreement can be amended does not give anyone the right to make anew agreement andcall it an ammendmant.sec # 58 (5)

  • posted by here we go again
  • Wed, Jul 23, 2003 9:44am

from everything that I have read on this issue it will do absolutely no good whatsoever to contact any of the agencies that are available to us. They all seem to ( at least in the past ) go along with whatever decision that was made by the powers at hand to do whatever they want to. It is apparant that we do have rights we just dont have anyone that will enforce the rules at hand and go against the decisions that have been made.

Many discussions have been held to decertify our union but where do we go from there ??? All information on this forum gives a very scary outlook no matter what union is in contol. I am beginning to believe that it is more benefical not to belong to a union, The concessions we have been forced to take will make us no different than any Wal-Mart employee.

Sure , the union says we have to accept this and then later on down the road they will once again play the hero and get everything ( and more ) back for us. That is of course if the union is still able to negotiate anything at all. Wonder what their strategy is ?? Why do we give up everything we have just to get it back later on??? Makes no sense to me at all.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Jul 23, 2003 10:31am

here we go again: Please see my post on page 3 of this thread regarding the possibility of filing a DFR complaint. This is an avenue that is open to you if you want to challenge what your local's leaders have done. There are never any guarantees but if you're not content to sit back and swallow what they've dished up, think about it.

If you'd like to chat privately or in greater detail about this, send me an email

  • posted by weiser
  • Wed, Jul 23, 2003 10:31am

HWGA, doing nothing seals your fate, doing something plants seeds that grow--maybe not immeditately, but they will grow eventually. By doing something, you are on record for standing for something.

There are people here who can help you or a group of Local 1977 members to file a Duty of Fair Representation and/or unfair labour practice complaints.

Will you win? Who knows, but your action, thoughts and feelings will forever be a part of the public record.

  • posted by <eDELIO>
  • Thu, Jul 24, 2003 8:04am


  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Thu, Jul 24, 2003 9:36am

There's a rumor going around today that Union Members are allowed to allocate their dues to a charity of their choice, I have never heard of this, but if so wouldn't that be the greatest way to put these S.O.B.s in line!

PLEASE. PLEASE. somebody tell me it's so!

At least I would know my money was being spent on a good and noble cause and not to support ... you know the rest.

  • posted by verity tango
  • Thu, Jul 24, 2003 9:57am

HWGA: Fighting for fair representation and some quality of life for workers and their families is a tough row to hoe, there is no doubt. Unions that are really businesses disguised as unions have some huge advantages. They have their propaganda machines and lawyers to make sure you stay in your place and they get paid very well to make sure you stay there. The labour relations boards are a joke, also playing their part in maintaining the illusion of "balance" and justice.

Still, as weiser points out, doing nothing is the last thing you want to do, if only because it's exactly the reaction the union bosses try to instill - hopelessness and futility. This is a game that you or a group of you need to learn how to play. Winning is not the main focus. With every move you make you broadcast the fact that you are learning how to play and willing to play. A DFR complaint has very little chance of winning but it still serves notice that there is a line, which crossed will result in action, not a frustrated submission. This is scary for the big wigs.

With every attempt to achieve more from the union you should think about sharing the issue and the union's response with as many as possible - by the internet as we are now doing, by word of mouth or by hard copy ala "he told two people and they each told two people and they...."

I would suggest that every issue, no matter how small, is best put in writing and forwarded by registered mail to the union. These labour games require documentation and the union is very frightened of those that are adept at creating documentation. Documentation is also an easy thing to share with others. Telephone conversations are just so much heresay. Even if the union responds by telephone (they prefer this for the simple reason that it creates no documentation) you can take notes of the conversation and then put them to paper in a "further to our conversation of (date), my understanding of the union's position is that..." and then send that to them registered mail.

Decertification is also a tough row to hoe but, win or lose, is another very effective way to say you've had enough of the bullshit. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and every once in a while, some lowly union members actually win. Across the continent there are large numbers of us who can work together to share advice - you are not alone.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, Jul 24, 2003 10:44am


Union members are able to direct their dues and assessments to a charity only if the basis for their objection to paying dues is that their religion does not permit them to be a member of any other organization. The section of the Labour Relations Act that deals with this is:


52. (1) Where the Board is satisfied that an employee because of his or her religious conviction or belief,

(a) objects to joining a trade union; or

(b) objects to the paying of dues or other assessments to a trade union,

the Board may order that the provisions of a collective agreement of the type mentioned in clause 51 (1) (a) do not apply to the employee and that the employee is not required to join the trade union, to be or continue to be a member of the trade union, or to pay any dues, fees or assessments to the trade union, provided that amounts equal to any initiation fees, dues or other assessments are paid by the employee to or are remitted by the employer to a charitable organization mutually agreed upon by the employee and the trade union, but if the employee and the trade union fail to so agree then to a charitable organization registered as a charitable organization in Canada under Part I of the Income Tax Act (Canada) that may be designated by the Board.

You may be feeling a certain religious fervour about your disdain for the UFCW right now but I doubt that the OLRB would buy the argument.

That said, you do have some options for expressing your disdain. These could include (in no particular order):

1. DFR complaint.

2. Unfair labour practices complaint against the union and the company.

In either of these complaints you could ask, as a remedy, that the OLRB declare the deal the union agreed to with the company null and void. You could also ask for an "interim order" preventing them from going ahead with implementation of the deal until the legal proceedings are concluded.

(You might not win - you can never be assured of a win no matter how solid your case - but if you do win, it will be a very big win for working people, not just where you work, but right across the country.)

3. Decertification (I want to make it clear that I'm not advocating this option. You are better off with a union, as long as its a union that puts the members first - all the time.)

4. Displacement application (decertifying your current union and certifying another or a new union).

I agree with v_t. There's a point at which you ask yourself "How much crap I am I prepared to have heaped upon me in this life?" Putting up with it forever or standing up and fighting it - no matter how long the battle might be - is a choice.


I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees
There's no point to life without liberty
So i'll stand for what's right as long as i breathe
I'd rather die on my feet, than live on my knees

I'm not sure where this verse comes from (I think it may be from the American Revolution. US contributors - am I right?) but it sort of says it all.

  • posted by licatsplit
  • Thu, Jul 24, 2003 11:39am


Across the continent there are large numbers of us who can work together to share advice - you are not alone.

Very important statement VT! We have all come here to this oasis to share, provide information, offer support, discuss problems and hopefully discover solutions to these problems! You are not alone!


I'm not sure where this verse comes from (I think it may be from the American Revolution. US contributors - am I right?) but it sort of says it all.

RV, it's from a song by Steve Vaus, although I think the famous line, "I'd rather die on my feet, than live on my knees!", was first voiced by the revolutionary, Zapata, if I'm not mistaken.

  • posted by BillPearson
  • Thu, Jul 24, 2003 12:30pm

Hate to disagree, but the idea of a decert is foolishness. Rv said


Decertification (I want to make it clear that I'm not advocating this option. You are better off with a union, as long as its a union that puts the members first - all the time.)

I agree, but i would go a step further. I have been answering hundreds of questions on Ask The Rep ay YAWM, and the bulk are from non-union workers. The things employers are doing to non-union workers are an abomination. Leaving the protection of a union contract, for an employer who just has their way with you is a fools game.

I'm not looking for the debate over raiding and all of those trappings. I understand the problems with the CLC and the AFL-CIO, but we won't change that here, at least not right away.

I think time is far better spent talking about realistic solutions. I am so encouraged by the folks who are tuning to the various websites, i believe that is the nucleus for change. If you look, there are new visitors and posters from California, and safeway members from Chicago, and all the "old" retailworker people who have found this site.

The future belongs to those who make it. The concessions we are seeing isn't the future, it's the past. It's the stuff that will turn lethargics into activists. Everyday scores of workers become more frustrated, Union and non alike. We can be the resource, the primer, the center for stimulating and motivating that change.

Let me tell you a little something about Union leadership. They aren't any smarter than the members. They have all the same insecurities.They come with their faults and their strengths, and they can be exploited, just like anyone else. What i'm saying to you is, don't be impressed with the title. Be impressed with what they do, or angry about what they don't do.

It's time members stopped believing their leaders were infallible. All they should be is accountable. And that goes to the very top of the mountain. We'll see how accountable the boys are when they gather in Frisco next week. If someone had to grade Dority's performance over the last 9 years, what would it be?

My point is simple, you don't have to run. You can beat them at their own game. It's all about getting educated enough to make them work for you. I say this from experience, it isn't that hard to do. We can show you, we can even start to link workers all across North America, you just have to want it.

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Fri, Jul 25, 2003 4:51am

We have two name changes to look forward to:
Zehrs Real Canadian Superstore
Loblaws Real Canadian Superstore

It is appropriate for a name change for our union now:
Loblaw Companies United Food & Commercial Workers

Food for thought.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Fri, Jul 25, 2003 7:59am

ACTION is the key. what would happen if there was a march on Queens park by un-represented UFCW workers?This is an election year.The tories are planning a bill of rights that would allow members to sue their Union for negligence.What would the Liberal response be.The tories will not be re-elected.So we need the liberals to respond now and then try to make them accountable for their election promise.

  • posted by weiser
  • Fri, Jul 25, 2003 9:04am

A march on Queens Park would go a long way. You can never embarass the UFCW, it's beyond that, but you could garner support for your cause, and with support, you can throw the corrupt ones into the gutter where they belong.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Sat, Jul 26, 2003 4:46am

I give up. When I started this thread I anxiously awaited a revelation that never came. I think part of the problem is that anyone in a position that is going management is keeping quiet for security and they influence a lot of younger workers. I am disgusted that even with all of this a lot of my co-workers still have no desire for more information and are just sheep being led to their slaughter. How our union leaders can justify losing 100% of our sick days is beyond me. I hope until this happens that the union files grievences by the hundreds for all the violations of the current agreement and show Lederer that we will not go quietly. Good luck to all and use your buy out wisely.

  • posted by <TIRED>
  • Sat, Jul 26, 2003 6:51am


I give up. When I started this thread I anxiously awaited a revelation that never came. I think part of the problem is that anyone in a position that is going management is keeping quiet for security and they influence a lot of younger workers.

cointoss: I know exactly how frustrated you feel but I hope you don't mean "I give up" literally and I don't believe you do or I hope you don't, and if by "going management" means being taken out of the Union I guess that I'm an anyone!
But I do know what you mean and I don't get it, the way I feel about this union at this time I can't believe I won't carry with me for the rest of my life, as far as "going management" its the same job I have done for most of my career in which I am proud to say has never made enemies of those above or below me, and I don't believe being "forced" out of the union by the union is going to change me into the enemy, I have known a lot more good people in management than bad, as can be said pretty much in anyone's life, however back to the point why these other guys are afraid to speak out against the union other than in one on conversations is ooops! this may draw some heat but maybe because they know they are where they are now because of seniority and not ability.
O.K. maybe I am the stupid one thinking I can be the most vocal one in my store on the issue and still keep my position but hey my feelings are why should management care if I am pissed off at the union as long as I do my job, after all the union works for the company to! " DON"T THEY ? "

  • posted by cointoss
  • Sat, Jul 26, 2003 11:01am

don't worry "tired" I am not going to do anything rash. I also feel comfortable going management but I don't know how I will feel if I am ever forced to cross a picket line. I have always believed strongly in collective bargaining and have tried to live my life with a "union" mentality. I have always known that many in the ufcw are only there for themselves and over the years I have been amazed at some of the stupid people working as store reps. I will continue to trreat my co-workers with respect but I will not show anything but contempt for the jerks who let our standard of living fall only to benifit their bottom line. At least they will not get dues from me. Good luck everyone.

  • posted by <here we go again>
  • Sat, Jul 26, 2003 12:08pm

i was talking with my union rep for this area the other day and I found out that the buy outs are ONLY for those people who will be involved in a store change over. That is , stores that will be closed and reopened in a new format or relocated in the same area. It also affects ONLY those who will be bumped by someone not wanting to take the transfer to a new formatted store. Anyone thinking that they will be getting a buyout offer just because they want out are seriously misinformed ( as I was ) . I thought that the people who didnt want to work for Zehr's or Loblaw's after this mandate becomes in effect could take a buy out and go on their merry way , get another job and start over again. THIS IS NOT THE CASE AT ALL.

Early retirement also affects the people who are 55 or older. Anyone not in these groups will either just be quitting their jobs with nothing more than severance papers or applying for retirement benefits under the pension plan with not one penny from the buy out package.

That means if you stay with the company that now employ's you all the new drops in pay and benefit losses implemented by this mandate will affect you. ( i.e. working all Sunday's etc.) I should know by now to read between the lines when the union hands us anything to read. Yeeee Feeking Haw behind the eightball again.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Sat, Jul 26, 2003 12:20pm

this is not a done deal.The labour board is going to look at this very carefully.Dont give up!!!!I have filed a duty of fair representation charge against the union.The brothers at 1977 were mislead.Local 1000A did not ratify this deal and if they are given the chance may not ever ratify it.if 1000a would ratify why didnt the union give us the opportunity??
there is a lot of help ot there.I am not working alone and others will help..... I think.As soon as i get areply from the Company and the union I will share the Response to application under section 74 of the act(unions duty of fair representation) Form A-30.

  • posted by siggy
  • Sat, Jul 26, 2003 2:04pm


That means if you stay with the company that now employ's you all the new drops in pay and benefit losses implemented by this mandate will affect you. ( i.e. working all Sunday's etc.) I should know by now to read between the lines when the union hands us anything to read.

No need to read between the lines. There are always limits surrounding buyouts, whether they are limited by employer amounts, as was 1518's in '96 (tho those $ amounts were not available until well after ratification) or whether it's a set of service_qualifiers employees have to meet, ratifying a concessionary agreement because it looks like a paid ticket out (buyout) is risky business, a huge gamble.

Having said that, I remained after the ufcw 1518 gave concessions in '96, I would say to my brothers and sisters that working in a two tier ... three tier environment is like swimming in acid and the only relief is waiting for the spiked towel at the end of the swim.

It is painful watching your rights eroded and even more painful to watch your co-workers/members struggling to pay the rent, but not to worry it will only be another 5 or 6 yrs before you get a chance to improve it.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Sun, Jul 27, 2003 11:26am

BB, I liked the article in the financial post. You have a lot of guts to stand your ground and speak your mind. Thank You .

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Sun, Jul 27, 2003 7:10pm

Is your local (1000A) or Loblaws responding directly to you about your concerns? If they are what type of reception are you getting from them?

  • posted by cointoss
  • Mon, Jul 28, 2003 5:55pm

I am getting this sick feeling that the talk in California is to raise our fues again. If they bring that kind of talk around I think it's time for a big change.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Mon, Jul 28, 2003 6:18pm

The union responded today.They asked for an extension of 5 days.It seems the President is away in San Francisco.I am sure he is extending all of his membership input.When he gets back he is on vacation for a week.After aweek in San Fran., he will neeed a rest.I will have a response by Aug 15.Any one interested should contact NOW magazine, a story to be written by Adria has adeadline of July 29.My local is 1000A Loblaws.All 3 of Al Maclean's sons worked in Collingwood at one point.Someone from 1977 should contact me.a Union does not have the right to conduct negotiatios without consulting the membership.I have Ontario labour board decisions stating that.If the board recieves another complaint,they might sit up and take notice

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Tue, Jul 29, 2003 1:25pm

Oh isn't that nice. The Prez will be vacationing and can't reply to the an official complaint within the time provided. I wonder if he'd object if the complainant said, "I'm on vacation and need some slack". I hope he has a wonderful time!

  • posted by reuther
  • Tue, Jul 29, 2003 3:03pm


The next contract has a quarantee of no wage or benifit concessions. You can bet it will be a one year contract. I agree that the one after that will be long and I doubt if the buy-down will apply , you will just lose everything through negotiations. Keep your head up and good luck.

How does a Union bargain whats in the next contract? It doesn't exist. The agreement of no concessions would be legally expired. How would it be enforced?
Additionally, the Union never got through the current contract without employer demands. How can they expect the employer to honor an agreement that won't exist?


  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Tue, Jul 29, 2003 6:59pm

This is so tragic. The UFCW is bragging about what it got for the next collective agreement, yet so much was given up at half time in this contract. What stops our good money hungry friends at Loblaws from backing out of that deal also. Will they say at that point "give up any past agreements or we are going to close stores"?Personaly I wish we would have let them do what they had threatened after looking at the 2nd quarter results. Are they ever hurting. LOL

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Tue, Jul 29, 2003 7:18pm


How does a Union bargain whats in the next contract? It doesn't exist. The agreement of no concessions would be legally expired. How would it be enforced?

That's a really good question Reuther. I know I'm not the only person out here who's just dying to here the answer. An agreement about an agreement that won't be bargained for another 3 or 4 years is ...a really novel concept to say the least. It's not enforceable. The Labour Relations Act says you can only have one agreement at a time. When the one you've got is up for renewal, its anybody's ball game. All deals are off and anybody can table whatever the hell they want.

Your second point is also quite valid. These guys bargained in the backroom for months without telling the members a damned thing. What's to say it isn't going to happen again. Hey, 2 years ago, UFCW Pres Mikey Fraser was pissing on Loblaws for even suggesting that workers might need to be more flexible what with Wal-Mart on the march. Two years later, he and his boys marched into the backroom with Loblaws bosses and had a good time.

Two years from now, who knows? Hey, there's a new mom and pop store down the street. Bob's grocery stores could be the next big competitive threat to Loblaws.

If they have another turn or two in the backroom, maybe by the time the contract expires there will be nothing left to give so, in those circumstances, there really can't be any more concessions.

I can't believe these local kahunas actually have the nerve to come out with this stuff and expect to be taken seriously.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Wed, Jul 30, 2003 5:51pm

I left copies of the impending dues raises in our breakroom today. People could not believe that our local would have the guts to raise them. Obviously that is the only thing they have the balls to do. Funny how they can stand up to their own members but they can't stand up to management. All together now SOLIDARITY FOREVER THE UNION MAKES US STRONG.

  • posted by BillPearson
  • Wed, Jul 30, 2003 6:00pm

Just spoke to one of the convention goers before the big party tonite. They never quite got to the all the ugly stuff today, but it sounds like the numbers may be even higher then we were orignally told. I suppose since the "mandate." and all the wonderful words kissing Doug and Joe's a$$e$ they are even more empowered to help the members.

Wish i was there, because maybe then i would have seen all the stuff i have that list of accomplishments. What was there again?

  • posted by Duffbeer
  • Thu, Jul 31, 2003 10:34am

From NOW Toronto Online Edition

Aisles of trouble: Is Loblaws using spectre of Wal-Mart as excuse to slash wages?


Talk of a looming retail apocalypse is once again seizing the Canadian corporate sector, nearly a decade after Wal-Mart first invaded the Great White North. This time the rumours come from Loblaws, the country's largest and most heavily unionized grocer. Back in December, the homegrown giant discreetly announced to the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) brass that it plans to change all its Ontario locations to a Real Canadian SuperStore (RCSS) format similar to those found out west by 2008.

And it needed the union's cooperation, it said, to roll back wages and benefits so it could be leaner for the upcoming Wal-Mart battle. Without a new wage contract, Loblaws warned, the union would be out in the cold once the RCSS banners were hoisted.

But is this threat rooted in necessary market realities? Or is Loblaws, as some believe, just invoking the Wal-Mart spectre to ratchet back its current cream-of-the-crop collective agreement to prep for a competition war that may not even be on the horizon?

story link:

  • posted by eddy munster
  • Thu, Jul 31, 2003 5:07pm

If this deal between Loblaws and Kevin Corporon go through you can bet at the next contract negotiations the union will tell us that Sunday's are now part of the work week and that we have to accept the changes. Every time I ask my rep what plans does the union have for us in the next contract, he keeps dodging the question and tells me that I should be glad I still have a job. These guys have no balls because they are all whipped. Another famous line the union likes to use is "This is the way the industry is going ". It's as if they are reading from a script that was written by John Lederer and Galen Weston. The industry is going this way because our union allowed it to go this way, they put their own agenda ahead of the people it serves. We haven't had a descent raise in over 20 years and every day you see other unionized workplaces such as Canada Post, TTC, Government workers sign deals with 10% or 12% pay increases even if they are running a deficit. Loblaws has been making money hand over fist for years and every time it nears negotiations they cry the blues that they can't afford to give us a raise. This union is notorios for buying into the company's bullshit tactics. This deal is a win,win situation for the company with lower wages and benefits and as well for the union as they secure more membership than they can handle. RCSS, Sunday part of the work week a maximum of 40 hours a week for full time. If the union was working for the members that employed them why do we have 85% part time versus 15% Full time employees? I have to give it to Ben Blasdell who has a backbone to stand up to these guys who seem to think that they can roll over the hand that feeds them. This contract was signed, sealed and delivered before the start of this year as the union received a unanimous 12-0 vote in favour of these changes as I have told a couple of the divisional board members that they must have been paid generously under the table to ratify this contract in secrecy.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Thu, Jul 31, 2003 7:28pm

ask those divisional board members " what gave you the right to cast a ballot for you and I".Oh by the way the Toronto division is gettig great representation from Sebation Aguano,Robert Brown,John Lapins,Betty Alton,wayne robinson,Steve Sinka,Carla brown,Gary Brown,Jim Koppens,Carmine Fioreand Rehya Zomparelli-Yazbek.The local By-laws state The divisional
executive "they shall be elected from the full-time membership of that division".Are all of these members full Time in th Toronto division?

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, Jul 31, 2003 7:43pm

Where any of these Board members elected? John Lapins, eh? Isn't there another Lapins at 1000a? Roland I think his name is. All in the family.

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Fri, Aug 1, 2003 6:53am

Sorry to be a little off topic but I heard last night that the Neilson plant in Georgetown (Ont.) also owned by Weston just held a vote 77% in favor of ousting the Teamsters in favor of some new "Christian reform union" has anyone else heard anything?

  • posted by cointoss
  • Fri, Aug 1, 2003 2:41pm

BEN BLASDELL-- I want you to know that I have a lot of respect for you. I do not know your circumstances but I recognize an honest man when I see one. Have you always been a union supporter and how do you feel this bull session will affect your future views? I have been screwed by 1000A back in the seventies , and again in the eighties. They skipped the nineties but boy did they make up for it this decade. Good luck.

  • posted by robbie_dee
  • Fri, Aug 1, 2003 3:07pm


Sorry to be a little off topic but I heard last night that the Neilson plant in Georgetown (Ont.) also owned by Weston just held a vote 77% in favor of ousting the Teamsters in favor of some new "Christian reform union" has anyone else heard anything?

The union is probably CLAC. They are no good:

CLAC Attack

  • posted by blasdell
  • Fri, Aug 1, 2003 4:16pm

Hi Cointoss, I have always supported the union.I have tried to organize with local 1000A in Barrie in the past.I have no grudge against the union.They just need some reform.They have to remember where they came from.I cannot imagine some of those old boys from the meat depts.accepting this crap,no X-mas Bonus,what are the union office Xmas bonuses?I am sure that the people who made those decisions think they did the right thing.The road to hell is paved with good intentions.I am sure that the union office would back peddle from this very quickly, look how fast they back peddled from the ratified agreement.The union boys hate work the most.All members should ask them for all the info they have,nothing pisses them off more, constitutions,audits,write to them,local bylaws,anything.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Sat, Aug 2, 2003 7:12am

BB- I was making more than a fireman when I was seventeen. I saw how much respect my co-workers had for the union and I was mentored by them. I have picketed with many locals and I always have looked for fair work practices when I spend my money. I agree we need a change. I have young people who work for me who pay over 30% of their take home in dues. What are we teaching them about fairness and unionism? I will have to go management to retain my position and I will have to make that choice soon. I do not know how I will be able to maintain my family's standard of living if I step down and lose 5 bucks an hour. The situation is different for everyone , I suppose the factors are countless. I am torn between "riding the wave of change" and tearing someone a new *******. I don't know what choices you have but my store is closing and moving to a new location soon and our local will not go for successor rights. It has cost Loblaws more than they will admit to to train me in my position over these last thirty years but I know that I am nothing but a number to them. I don't like the changes in our benifits more than the wages. Either way I am going to be embarrassed to have to explain to the retirees what we let happen without a fight.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Sat, Aug 2, 2003 7:15am

I heard today that the managers were told that the company gave the union 450 thousand to help organize wal-mart. Is that todays equivilent of twenty pieces of silver?

  • posted by blasdell
  • Sat, Aug 2, 2003 4:03pm

That 450 grand is unaccounted for,the information is in Letter of understanding # 52 "the employer will make the following lump sum payments for Education and Communication initiatives.These lump sum payments are in additionto current education contributions.The payment of $ 150,000 shall be made in July 2003, 2004 and 2005."Oh and by the way Letter of understanding # 1 dated July 22, 2000 is ammended to read "This is to amplify the Assurance of Employment provisions of Appendix "C" of the collective agreement expiring July 1,2006.It is understood that employees hired at Loblaws Real canadian Superstore count toward fulfilling the reuirements outlined in this letter."So we all will eventually be working fo RCSS.

  • posted by <dave>
  • Sat, Aug 2, 2003 6:53pm

I am a new comer to this site. I have just heard about all the shit that goes on in the UFCW. I personally am from 1977. I actually believe that they are barganing in good faith. However the more I read into it, the less skeptical I am becoming. If there is so much discord amongst the members, why not vote to decertify the UFCW as the union for loblows, zehrs etc. Even if it is done one store at a time. Get together with other people to form another union (ie: united loblaws employees union). Unions have there good qualities. Unfortunately it is the people that run them that give them a bad name.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Sat, Aug 2, 2003 8:43pm

Hi dave,Do you really believe that a company posting profit like ours needs concessions like these ones?I am a supporter of workers and unions.BUT WORKERS FIRST.Our leadership is atrocious.Why didn't they just say no?what would happen?the contracts, legally ratified, would have remained in effect until pain there.Decertification is along and difficult road but it may be coming....amen.

  • posted by edelio
  • Sat, Aug 2, 2003 9:32pm

One word of warning, investigate any old no raid agreements that the next union may have. Whether it was with their current organizational name or a prior local which existed before it merged. We had a decert vote at the warehouse in cambridge to oust the 1000a and got burned by a letter of agreement that went back to 98 with a former local that merged into the existing one which we were pushing for. Really sucked. We worked hard only to have the ballots sealed by the OLRB.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Sat, Aug 9, 2003 12:08pm

hi edelio,I read the decision about the old no raiding seems the RW union merged with the CAW on a trial basis of 1 or 2 years.Then Loblaws consolidated its warehouses and workers signed on with the CAW.The UFCW then applied to the board under an unfair labour practice.When both parties signed it solved several complaints before the board, and that is what made the agreement binding.The chair also noted that either party could have negated the pact by simply notifying the other party.The RW had the pact with 1000A.I wonder if that pact is recinded yet?As soon as the next open period comes up the CAW will be there and the members want the CAW.I think the CAW appealed and it is before the courts, so it isn't over yet.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Mon, Aug 11, 2003 3:01pm

What is going on with 175. Their members seem to know less than we do, if that is possible? I hear that Loblaws is opening in Midland really soon. I am waiting for the " other shoe to drop". I hear that they are finding it hard to staff the new one on Gammage in London. That could be a problem they will face for a while.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Mon, Aug 11, 2003 5:34pm

They are waiting to see the reaction.The first store is not scheduled to open until mid october as a loblaws and I think it is in London.Things may be different at Zehrs.I have been passing out the brochure from this website.I haven't had a bad reaction yet.Nobody knows what is going on.The only staff members that are happy are the ones planning on taking the buy-out.Everyone thinks the Union is crooked for dealing mid-term.Local 175 is not concerned because their agreement hardly changes,maybe not at all.

  • posted by edelio
  • Tue, Aug 12, 2003 6:20pm

The ufcw175 head office is in Hamilton,on Parkdale ave. Another union purchase some 3 years or so ago.

  • posted by dave
  • Tue, Aug 12, 2003 6:28pm

The store in Midland will be a Zehrs under local 1977. It will have the RCSS attached to the name. It is slated to open early october, postings went to the store on the 11th of aug. I have a meeting on the 12th with the executive board of local 1977. They are informing us of what we "accepted". Not really looking forward to this at all.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Tue, Aug 12, 2003 6:48pm

You'll have to tell us all about it Dave. It's important that these guys know the days of secrecy are over.

I thought Local 175's office was on Argentia Road in Mississauga. There is a UFCW office on Rennie Street in Hamilton. Do you know anything about the purchase of that building edelio? I've heard it was purchased about 3 years ago as well and that the previous owner might have been one of Father Ronnie Kelly's companies.

  • posted by dave
  • Wed, Aug 13, 2003 12:32pm

Edelio, what was the content of that letter you refered to? I don't understand what letter can over turn a decert vote. Did anyone seek out a lawyers opinion?

  • posted by <uno>
  • Wed, Aug 13, 2003 12:57pm

Here's the letter edelio was talking about.

I understand the case went to the OLRB and the Board upheld it as a valid agreement between the unions, although you'd have to get more specific details from edelio as to where things stand now.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Aug 13, 2003 1:15pm

The OLRB's ruling validating the "no raiding pact" is before the Ontario Divisional Court. I gather that the CAW has challenged the ruling.

In the interim, the OLRB appears to have issued a ruling denying the UFCW locals' request for damages as follows:


Damages - Settlement - The Board considered whether damages should be awarded under Section 96(4) of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 based on the Board's earlier decision that the responding party had breached the parties' settlement agreement - The applicant sought a "make whole" remedy which included organizing costs, general damages and legal expenses - The Board held that "make whole" remedies are awarded only where the Board has found that there have been serious or egregious violations of the Act, especially where rectification is not possible or feasible - The Board found that certain organizing costs could not be claimed because they were not rationally related to the breach and further declined to award general damages and other organizing costs as its earlier decision had already put the applicant in the position that it would have been if there had been compliance with the settlement agreement - An award of organizing costs and general damages in the circumstances of this case would be contrary to labour relations policy for a number of reasons including: (1) the award would be perceived as punitive; (2) an expansion of the Board's usual approach to damages would likely have unforeseen consequences in other cases, including more time-consuming and costly litigation; (3) the Board has always been reluctant to become involved in a dispute between trade unions; and (4) the award would discourage any hope of future harmonious relations - The Board held that it has no jurisdiction to award legal costs and would not do so even if it did have the jurisdiction - Request for damages dismissed

NATIONAL GROCERS CO. LTD.; .; RE NATIONAL AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE, TRANSPORTATION AND GENERAL WORKERS UNION OF CANADA (CAW-CANADA); RE UFCW LOCAL 1000A; File Nos. 0137-02-R; 0139-02-R; 0179-02-R; 0450-02-U; Dated May 1, 2003; Panel: Laura Trachuk (9 pages)

The entire decision.

  • posted by edelio
  • Wed, Aug 13, 2003 8:20pm

Sorry,,you are right,,its Rennie st. which is intersected by Parkdale. Not sure about the previous owner of the new 175 hall but i believe it was formally occupied by the Teamsters. I am sure ,given the track record,somebodys dad, sister, priest but nonetheless someone "connected" benefited from the purchase.

  • posted by weiser
  • Sun, Aug 17, 2003 8:16am

I think this post has an important question that Mike Fraser needs to answer.


...Hmmmmm? Mike Fraser, could you comment on whether the 20-cent deal is real and whether it had anything to do with the start of discussions to slash the Loblaw rates of pay and benefits?...

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Mon, Aug 18, 2003 6:26am

We now have copies of the new Real Canadian Superstore contract in our employee rest stations.

No sick days for full time. But you get the chance to make up the time within 4 weeks when the managers says its ok.

Sundays are NOT voluntary. They are part of your regular work week. No bonus. No nothing.

Clerks must work 2 nights a week. A night does not count unless it is after 6 pm.

You can (and probably will) be forced to work 4 out of 5 Saturdays AND Sundays.

This is unacceptable. Everything we worked hard to get is gone. Loblaw Co. got their flexability the were crying about. Were so flexable now its breaking the workers backs.

  • posted by weiser
  • Mon, Aug 18, 2003 9:25am

Did they give away the farm or did they sell it for 20 cents per hour into CCWIPP?

Ask your business agent to tell you whether Loblaw areed to kick in the 20 cents per hour over the next few years to bail CCWIPP out. If Loblaw did the 20-cent deal, what did they get in return?

I'm sure your business agent would have that information at his or her fingertips.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Mon, Aug 18, 2003 3:07pm

Does anyone know if we got the same as Zehrs and is this the "fortinos" agreement or is this worse? Has 175 settled on their language or are they still working on it?

  • posted by edelio
  • Mon, Aug 18, 2003 6:52pm

It would be interesting to compare this new contract with the old fortinos 175 agreement.From the sounds of the info so far it seems to have familiar tones.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Tue, Aug 19, 2003 5:23am


posted by weiser:
Did they give away the farm or did they sell it for 20 cents per hour into CCWIPP?

Ask your business agent to tell you whether Loblaw areed to kick in the 20 cents per hour over the next few years to bail CCWIPP out. If Loblaw did the 20-cent deal, what did they get in return?

I'm sure your business agent would have that information at his or her fingertips.

I must say weiser that I have been pondering about this myself. The timing of this deal really has me baffled. In 2000, both Loblaws and Zehrs signed 6 year agreements with Local 1000a and 1977 respectively. A 6 year deal is a real coup for an employer. It's a wonderful thing for management because they know exactly what their labour costs will be for a 6 year period (a very long time when it comes to business planning). The WalMart "threat" was as real in 2000 as it is today. The management guys knew that WalMart had big box stores in the US and it was conceivable (it being a free market) that they might one day come across the border and set up shop here in Canada. So what changed in 2002?

The threat still exists. Wal-Mart big format stores are still not here. WalMart spokespeople have been quoted saying they plan to open a total of four of these stores in the Greater Toronto Area (now there's a nation-wide invasion if I ever saw one). In other statements, there are allusions on the part of Loblaw Co's management types and UFCW types that the real threat is still a couple of years into the future. Well, it would seem that if the threat hasn't materialized yet and the impact hasn't been felt yet, it would have made more sense for the company to deal with whatever the impact is going to be in the 2006 negotiations. What the hell got them going in 2002? I don't get it.

As recently as 2001, Mike Fraser was chastizing Loblaws officials for daring to suggest that they might need more flexibility to challenge the WalMart threat. There was an article in EYE where he says a lot of the things we've been saying. Things like: "It's your job to compete management guys. So compete - but not on the backs of our members."

What got Mike singing a different tune?

  • posted by weiser
  • Tue, Aug 19, 2003 7:12am

Don't get Sam's Club stores confused with Wal-Mart Supercenters. The four that will open in the GTA are Sam's Clubs. They will give Costco Wholesale a run for its money. They aren't a big threat to conventional stores. The Supercenters aren't envisioned for about five years or possibly never. The threat is a lot less than Mike would have you believe.

Look at it this way; Loblaw is turing into Wal-Mart rather than Wal-Mart turning into a Loblaw Companies store. This deal is about allowing Loblaw to get into the Zellers market and getting some cheap grocery rates while they are at it.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Tue, Aug 19, 2003 10:00am

The response,I got today,from the intervenor in my DFR says that the company is terrified because of the announcement of walmart to open sams club in Ontario.what is the difference between the threat of sams club and a costco.Loblaws new stores integrate club pack into the regular space....thats how much they are worried about club pack makes an announcement, loblaws siezes the opportunity to grab wages,ufcw grabs the chance to gain low end partimers.They are all greedy pricks

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Tue, Aug 19, 2003 1:40pm

What this all comes down to in my view is who does the secret deal benefit? Maybe, for the first time ever, the OLRB will actually have to wrestle with this issue in the context of a DFR complaint. They don't want to, but it's possible that the UFCW has created a situation where they'll have to. Surely the concept of "duty to fair representation" implies that there is some benefit - some tangible and real benefit - to the members from a union's decision or course of action.

As far as I can see the company benefits, the union benefits but the members? I can see no tangible benefit for them at all. Oh sure, the UFCW can say "well we made this deal and it protects your jobs" or "we made this deal and so thousands more workers will be in our union". I don't buy it. I don't see how the secret deal offers them more job protection than their existing collective agreement. Under either agreement, they could be laid off. Under either agreement they can be bumped. It seems that under the secret deal, these possibilities might just happen sooner.

The fact that they now have buy-outs or the opportunity to take jobs at lower pay (and work their way back up to a higher rate) isn't any great benefit as far as I can see it. What's the benefit to the members?

As far as the benefit to the thousands of new members who will be hired at the new RCSS's, how can you say something benefits someone when they don't even exist yet? To what extent can you work behind the backs of existing members for the supposed benefit of non-existant members?

IMHO what the UFCW is saying in support of its decision is analogous to someone robbing your house and then saying to you: "Someone told me there might be an earthquake right here in your neighbourhood sometime in the next 5 years. I believe them. Your house and all your belongings will surely be destroyed when that happens. I thought I'd take them from you now so others - in an earthquake free zone - could enjoy them. Aren't I a great humanitarian?"

How do you measure the benefit to the existing members of the secret pact against the benefit to the employer or to the union?

Very interesting issues - time the people who regulate labour relations in this province put their minds to them.

  • posted by Duffbeer
  • Tue, Aug 26, 2003 10:24pm

I see the UFCW 1977 site had its monthly update yesterday.

UFCW Local 1977 - Zehrs Real Canadian Superstore Update


In an effort to keep our membership fully apprized of all details of the Real Canadian Superstore (RCSS) Mandate, the Local Union has taken the following steps.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Wed, Aug 27, 2003 3:07pm

I have been busy for the last few weeks and just now updated myself on the Zehr's/Loblaws concession information. Well , who would have guessed that everything I said was going to happen has happened. That wonderful piece of paper has put into motion the downturn to the union and all its members. Those still with the stores have lost everything that was negotiated at the last contract and given up even more.

I don't usually run from confrontations but I am soooo glad that I saw the light and quit zehr's. Even rats know enough to get off a sinking ship. I now have employment in a non-union company and I am a whole heck of a lot happier , I started at more money than I was making at zehrs after several years of employment. This may not be the solution that I was hoping for but it is a lot better than the position I was in at zehrs.

For those who stay I send my sincere hope that you win the DFR and get back what was given away by the union. Good luck to all of you.

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Wed, Aug 27, 2003 6:49pm

Yes Cointoss
On thing that I have noticed in the last few years is a increase in the number of full time employee's that are leaving. People do not value their employment with Zehrs like they used to. At one time nobody left unless they retired or were fired.
It is only going to get worse with the new RCSS contract. Mmmmmmm where should I work? McDonalds, Tim Hortons or Zehrs?

  • posted by cointoss
  • Mon, Sep 1, 2003 2:00pm

Happy Labour Day everyone. Boy how life changes your attitude towards things. After twenty four years in a local I will probably be management within the next year. I wonder what my attitude towards unionism will be on the next labour day? Thanks to the ufcw and their gutless approach to protecting my job and my standard of living and most of all what they are doing to the youth in their union.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Mon, Sep 1, 2003 4:54pm

I would be very interested in hearing your perspectives on life outside of the unionized service industry. Do your co-workers talk about unions at all? If so, how do they perceived unions? Are there other ex-union members (especially from service industry unions like the UFCW) working with you? What, if anything, do they talk about in relation to the union(s) they once belonged to.

HWGA - would you be willing to share some details about your current wages and benefits with us? You don't have to reveal where you work but it would be very interesting to compare what workers are getting in your non-union workplaces with the new RCSS agreement.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Tue, Sep 2, 2003 2:51am

I would be glad to give info on my new job. I started out here with more money per hour than I was getting at zehr's after several years of working there. I am getting 40 hours per week not the 10 or 15 I was getting at zehr's and all this without losing union dues every pay to a bunch of people who do nothing to earn it. The extra bonus is that I will be getting more hours because of my work ethics and wont be held back from getting more hours because someone has an earlier start date than me. I also have the ability to get full time a heck of a lot earlier than I ever would at zehr's.

One more thing and it is a very important plus 90% of the people here are happy at their jobs which makes coming to work a fun place to be. I know that it is early in my job with this company and I know that all days will not be rosy but I am a lot happier here knowing that hard work will get me ahead and not my seniority date.

  • posted by <funny guy>
  • Tue, Sep 2, 2003 6:58pm

"You have a written contract which spells out your rights, job security and benefits. It's down in black in white.

You can't be fired without just cause, and you have a steward, union representative and all the members in your workplace and local and national union fighting for your rights.

Year after year, contract after contract, the union wins for you higher wages and better working conditions.

You can fight unfair job rates, bad working conditions, etc. through a grievance procedure spelled out in your contract.

With a union contact you get improved holidays, better vacation with pay and overtime pay.

Union contracts provide for health and welfare benefits for vision care, dental care, life insurance, surgical and maternity care, disability benefits and pension"

That's from

How come none of you noticing these benefits of UFCW??

  • posted by siggy
  • Tue, Sep 2, 2003 7:29pm

  • posted by cointoss
  • Tue, Sep 2, 2003 7:30pm

Funny Guy it's not that we don't notice the benefits of belonging to a union. I know that my standard of living would drop if I was working for an independant grocer without collective bargaining going for me. What most of us want is the union to be all that it can be. We have supported unionism and helped defend the union movement for years and now we feel stabbed in the back by the union. I expect that from the company but I always thought that the union was on my side. Years ago Danny Gilbert and my local fought the good fight and I do believe that they are good men but I think that they have been manipulated by their bosses and what is important to them now is their own growth. They should have protected 80% of their people and told Loblaws to go shove it.

  • posted by unionnow
  • Wed, Sep 3, 2003 5:13pm

If the UFCW tried to shove this crap down the Bay Area's throat there would be a bunch of clerks showing up at the meetings with pitchforks.

FYI-- Ken Corporon of 1000a (or corporate moron) was the first one to the mike at the UFCW convention to kiss Doritys ass. It was pretty disgusting. I though he was going to run up to the podium and polish Doritys shoes with his tongue if he could dislodge it from his ass long enough. One look at him and you could see this guy was trying hard to get in tight with the boneheads. You had to be there to see the way they were looking down on him while he was kissing ass. It was something to behold.

I can see how the deal was cooked at the Internationals headquarters in DC. The companies play the Wal-Mart card and say we can survive union if you let us establish our format now. If things stay as they are, we will go out of business and the market will be left to non-union Wal-Mart.

This was a big victory for the machine and they are proud of it. How could we have become so disarmed, deceived, disorientated and dismissed? Every time I read something on this site I have to shake my head in amazement.

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Wed, Sep 3, 2003 7:11pm

I hope the Canadian delegation did a presentation on the advancement of the worker above the 49th parallel! It is something that Loblaws would have been proud of. Nice chess playing Loblaw executives. You checkmated the UFCW brass.

  • posted by BillPearson
  • Wed, Sep 3, 2003 7:48pm

As i read un's post, all i could think of is, the artificial insemination of the truth.

For as long as i was around, it was always the same thing. Guys would stand in line at the convention drooling at the chance to stand up and sing the praises of those soon to be annointed.

Thanks for the recounting of those who bravely fought their way to the front of the pack unionnow. Hate to spoil anyones fantasy, but the sad truth is, they even orchestrate who gets the honor of being first, second and so on. It's a pathetic display of shameless ass kissing, and you have to wonder why Kevin was given the prestige of being the first.

Here-in lies the bigger problem. These guys have no chance of fixing what is broken if they actually believe all the hype and accolades they heap upon one another. Just once it would have been refreshing to have one of the players throw their written speech to the floor and speak from the heart. To openly admit things are all fucked up, and there is no game plan to overcome the mess.

Instead we hear about the great job Doug has done. How his leadership was taken us to new heights. How we are on the verge of breaking out and saving the labor movement and the working class in North America. What a crock.

With the sudden popularity of reality TV, maybe we should be looking at developing a program where members can let the brass hear what it's like in the trenches. Could be a real eye opener, and who knows, might even force the boys to deal in honesty, rather then the happy horseshit they have been spewing for so long. In fact, the best place to begin might just be smack dab in the middle of Toronto; bet we could find some members who would be real interested in appearing, eh?

  • posted by <sickofit>
  • Wed, Sep 3, 2003 9:26pm

kevin coporon makes well over 150,000 dollars a year,,,"officially"

  • posted by edelio
  • Thu, Sep 4, 2003 8:02am

Is there anyone out there that is familiar with a Mr. Brian Reed? Many UFCW names have been slammed about on this site but I havent heard anything on Brian(1000a). I have in many different ways been a staunch critic of the UFCW but there has always been one thing that has kept me from total disallusionment and that was Ried. To my knowledge and experience with him he has been anything but the 1 minded type of personality.He has fought for a grieveance that i filed almost a year and a half ago. It was over 2 weeks stress leave i took which the company refused to pay me.I am one of many that are in the works and even tho it took a long time I am quite satisfied with the outcome. When I brought it to Brians attention that i was concerned with the companys outlook on mental illness he agreed with me which i shluffed off as" tellin me what I want to hear." Yet at the end of the day he fought hard ,won my grieveance,and also cleared the air on some policies regarding the company doc. This may be a flowery post in that I am quite pleased with the news I received today but the reason I bring this up is that Kevin is very close to Kevin Corporon ,almost at his right hand. I am inquiring in regards to Mr. Ried because we obviously have a need for new leadership and to me he doesnt seem tainted by the machine. Lookin for info?Anyone? Anyone? Ferris Bueller???

  • posted by edelio
  • Thu, Sep 4, 2003 8:04am

"Kevin is very close to Kevin Corporon"

..........oops,,,,Brian is close to Kevin,,,,,,

  • posted by siggy
  • Thu, Sep 4, 2003 8:39am


I have in many different ways been a staunch critic of the UFCW but there has always been one thing that has kept me from total disallusionment and that was Ried. To my knowledge and experience with him he has been anything but the 1 minded type of personality.

Without doubt there are probably hundreds of very good representatives trying to stand up for members, I know a couple myself.

I'm astounded that the good reps remain so silent. How do you do a great job within a system that ensures you can't. And how do you continue to turn a blind eye when you know it could and should be better.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, Sep 4, 2003 9:32am

Don't know anything more about Brian than what you've told us edelio. It's possible that he's a good guy with his heart in the right place. On the other hand he could just be a smarter machine head who fights the odd battle because it will stand him in good stead with the members and make the Local Pres look good.

If he's a good guy, now's the time for him to rise and shine. Call him up and ask him what the hell is going on and why Corporon won't let the members vote. If he's close to Kevin, maybe make the members' views known to him.

It's possible also that Brian is having an inner conflict right now. Feeling for the members but bound to his boss by feelings of loyalty and great desire to remain employed. If this is the case, you may want to help him resolve his inner conflict by putting pressure on him to "Do the right thing Brian. Do what's right for the members".

unionnow: I would absolutely love it if you would write a piece about your experiences at the convention. Please, please, please tell us the whole story, in your own words with your own insights and views. This is something that a lot of members (and others) could benefit from.

Your description of Corporon being first at the altar is so loaded with significance. Yes, that is a big show of support by the International and I'm inclined to believe that they were well aware of his secret dealings with Loblaws and approved of them. It's something that, to me, speaks volumes about what motivates them as an organization. If you're willing to hit the backroom so you can acquire a bunch of walmart-ized new members at the same time as you're "waging war on wal-mart" and you don't see the disconnect - you're one and only objective as a union is: money.

  • posted by unionnow
  • Thu, Sep 4, 2003 10:59am


All the head Candians did was crow about all of their victories in Canada. It was as if nothing at all happened in the lower 48 worth talking about in the last 5 years.

They even trotted out the Thunder Bay strike team.

As I have posted before, that is when I finally understood that they were talking about victories for the perpetuation on the machine, not victories for advancing the interests of their members.

Once you understand it from their point of view, the rest is downhill.

  • posted by unionnow
  • Thu, Sep 4, 2003 11:00am


I will work on that, give me a week or so.

  • posted by cointoss
  • Sun, Sep 7, 2003 7:48am

So workers 58 got a package. They are asked to sign off on any future wsib claims. Is this a regular request for early retirement?

  • posted by siggy
  • Sun, Sep 7, 2003 8:19am


So workers 58 got a package. They are asked to sign off on any future wsib claims. Is this a regular request for early retirement?

I'm not the expert but it sounds standard. Pretty sure the early outs, buyouts would include everything that relieves them of every liabilty, now and future.

It's probably too late by the time one reads the pkg for anyone concerned about future health problems to open a wcb claim before signing off.

If someone wants to take the early retirement pkg, hasn't already filed a wcb claim and does have future health concerns that are work related, is there a way to accept the pkg (all qualifiers met) and stall or negotiate out the clause?

  • posted by blasdell
  • Wed, Sep 17, 2003 9:02am

I have heard at work that employees are being offered different amounts of money to go to the "new" stores....based on if they want you or not.They are having job fairs for the new stores and trying to recruit part time.

  • posted by <40 Below>
  • Wed, Sep 17, 2003 9:22am

I would not believe that rumour. The company will pay whatever amount is coming to each employee. The company isn't choosing people. It is the people that are choosing which company they want to work for. Of course that is not the case with the non union positions.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Wed, Sep 17, 2003 10:57am

I guess maybe I wasn't clear enough.I meant non union positions only.I have spoken First hand to someone who is going and they told me that different people get different offers depending on how bad they want you

  • posted by cointoss
  • Wed, Sep 17, 2003 5:28pm

We also heard of the job fair. There is one coming up in Kitchener. We are also hearing of an offer being made to people who will go to rcss who are close to retirement that if they stay three years more they will get an additional thirty thousand dollars. Anyone hear of this?

  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Thu, Sep 18, 2003 3:50pm

There is a job fair coming for Stanley Park Zehrs.
But please note: It is going to be a *regular Zehrs store*. Not a YIG(Your Independent Grocer) or RCSS(Real Canadian Superstore) as our Company/Union informed us at the meeting.
I wonder if there was any other false information given to us?

  • posted by blasdell
  • Fri, Sep 19, 2003 3:56pm

Can you send me something in writing about Stanley Park Soitis,I could use it in my DFR.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Wed, Sep 24, 2003 4:17pm

Thank you Soitis, I included a reference about Stanley Park in my submission.Isn't the Internet a terrific tool!!!The machine heads cannot keep us all segregated any more.Someone from Zehrs should follow the lead and put up a fight on the grounds of failure to consult the members.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Sep 24, 2003 4:25pm

I think that the Zehr's workers should seriously consider filing a DFR. Not only were they not consulted but that what they voted on was not ratification. A mandate to permit the local poohbah to sign a deal without ratification is not a ratification vote. It only takes one to file a complaint. More will surely follow.

  • posted by <new>
  • Thu, Sep 25, 2003 5:31am

Anyone know anything about 175, seems they do not want to talk and who knows if they signed yet.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Mon, Sep 29, 2003 4:20pm

I got word today that the consultation at the Labour Board will take place on Oct.23 2003 at 930 am.The address is 505 University avenue Toronto Ontario.The meeting will be held on the 2nd floor in tha Board Room.The public and interested parties are welcome.These guys love to work out of the public eye,lets fill the room and put some pressure on.

  • posted by <yoursay>
  • Wed, Oct 8, 2003 1:41pm

Can anyone tell me if you work in a reg. Loblaws or Zehrs if anything changes, is this new contract for CSS only. I was told if you are 55 you are offered a buy out only if your store is changing to the CSS and if you are not affected by this change at this time you are not offered this buy out

  • posted by blasdell
  • Wed, Oct 8, 2003 7:55pm

Do not let anyone tell you existing employees are not affected.That is BULLSHIT.If they did not have to change existing workers contracts, would they negotiate with our union?1st,the new stores are the same as the old stores,so why shouldnt you be able to go there with your existing contract?You were able to before the "new agreement".I have read the appendix very thoroughly,the early retirement option is open to all employees if you declared by October 1 2003.Now you can only get an early retirement option if your store is closing due to an Rcss opening.The company has to absorb all employees that choose not to go over to the "new" banner,I hope you have lots of seniority.

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Thu, Oct 9, 2003 7:23am



I hope you have lots of seniority.

I have a young guy at our store a new hire full-time who right now is stressed right out, Why? because as a new hire he sees the inevitable, stores in the area are going to close and bumping is going to happen,the problem is for him is that he knows he will be first on the hit list for being bumped, but being single and at the low end of the wage scale it's tough enough to pay rent utilities ect. let alone a car and insurance witch leaves him where?
Does he get a buy out when he gets bumped ?
or is he just going to be a statistic in this UFCWs " Best of a bad situation" deal? one way or another he figures he's screwed.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Fri, Oct 10, 2003 6:38am

Give that young fellow some hope "nights".On Oct 23 the labour Board is going to hear arguments on three specific points,they are:

(1) Is our "ammended" collective agreement valid

(2)Did the union violate the "act" by not consulting the membership and concealing the negotiations

(3)Did the union violate the "act" when it provided a different "consultation process"

  • posted by edelio
  • Fri, Oct 10, 2003 8:43pm

Hey BB......I have a simple question. Other than myself and Mr. Martin, have any other members from the Maplegrove warehouse signed your petition? Lets just say I wanna take a "big talker" lithmus test of where I work. Been real disappointed by the amount of talk thats been accompanied with inaction there.I do not need names for obvious embarrassment reasons but i would like to know if its still, "...and 2 guys from the warehouse...."?

  • posted by blasdell
  • Fri, Oct 10, 2003 9:36pm

Yes,two people from the warehouse have signed on to the complaint,BTW the company opposes any names being added to the complaint.I got a letter today accusing me of harassment from the company..LOL.....REALLY.... LOL.Because I asked for document production.Edilio,don't worry about people who talk big but don't do anything the world is full of them.They are our allies,just not vocal.Encourage them and empower them,they may be next in ufcw hit parade.Not all people like confrontation.The biggest problem is our union not educating members,didn't they just get a big contribution for those puposes,so we have to do it.

  • posted by edelio
  • Fri, Oct 10, 2003 10:04pm

Sorry BB,, I bloody well give up!! I think this is one brother who is tired of being the "one with the big mouth."I have triedto educate and fight for my compadres only to become a butt of management jokes.The same people who helped ignite a fire under my ass are the same ones who roll over and play dead when confronted by management.Its to the point at our warehouse where there is a well travelled line going around."Grieve it and I will see you in 6 months!" I have gone as far in my fight for solidarity as I can. I can't get a unified front from anyone other than Demon,who posts here ,and one other guy whos been fighting the fight with me since our place opened.I am just gonna sit tight,cover my own ass ,let the sheep be sheep,and hope one day,if it ever comes,I can mark another X on a piece of paper for the OLRB to throw out. I QUIT!!!!!!!!

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Sat, Oct 11, 2003 10:11am

As I too have learned Its a very tough thing to break one sheep away from the herd they fear being alone when they know the wolves are out there but the fact you got one separated is something you should be proud of especially since your sheep are not right now being directly affected, if you want to know frustration its getting all kinds of positive feed back from those about to be affected and then the next day they can hardly look you in the eye, to get one persons eyes opened is a job well done "edelio" be proud.

  • posted by siggy
  • Sat, Oct 11, 2003 10:37am


to get one persons eyes opened is a job well done "edelio" be proud

For sure, and it isn't wrong to step away for awhile and re-evaluate. People have to come onto it themselves. It's not possible to change the existing, only possible to set and be part of the groundwork for the new IMHO.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Sat, Oct 11, 2003 3:49pm

This is not a sprint this is ten marathons.We may not see things change,but we may have started it.I have done more to encourage people,explain legal documents,leaflet stores,run back and forth to Toronto yada..yada..yada.To be discouraged by other people actions is not an option.Think about what has been accomplished.I dont get discouraged by peoples attitudes,I get enthused when they REALIZE what is going on,I dont even ask people to sign on,I just promote the website and say all the legal documents are online.And your union says YOU support this deal.When this this case is ruled ,UFCW and Loblaws will the butt of jokes.Edelio,relax,the world is unfolding as it should,you are doing what you are supposed to, by your standards and so is everyone else.when peple want to know,they will ask.Your support is valuable and you have done a lot...thanks.

  • posted by blasdell
  • Thu, Oct 23, 2003 7:16pm

Well local 1000a had its day at the Board.They could not (would not) explain why there was a different ratification process in the locals.Zehrs workers have been mislead LOCAL 1000A has not allowed its membership to ratify this deal.I need someone or some proof that ufcw 1977 got a vote.If anyone from local 175 can shed some light on what the process was in their local...the info would be greatly appreciated....Thanks Ben Blasdell 705-446-1933

  • posted by cointoss
  • Tue, Dec 9, 2003 6:17am

My wife brought home a Union paper about the new Midland store. At first glance you would guess it was a company handout. It quotes workers praising 1977 for the agreement( read mandate). One thing it has done is promote wal-mart, her co-workers are now saying that they might as well take advantage of their low prices. They also got word of their dues increase. Boy are we a bunch of suckers. Duh where do we sign --thanks for screwing us---let us know if we can take some more money from our families to help out the UNION.

  • posted by <garfield>
  • Thu, Dec 11, 2003 11:06am

BB, As a member of 175, I have a copy of our amendments (as stated in the Loblaws/Rcss thread) What exactly do you (or anyone else) want to know?

  • posted by <garfield>
  • Fri, Dec 12, 2003 5:59am

about the amendments I mean??

  • posted by <garfield>
  • Fri, Dec 12, 2003 6:33am

(not to get off topic here) but I have a question to anyone who can explain to me why a union would put a 'layoff clause" in a contract?? Doesn't it give more power to the employer??? The news and views I received for local 175 says that The Loeb's in pembroke and the A&P Dominion and Ultra food and drug stores have the layoff clause in them. Giving the employer the power to layoff employees makes me nervous, I mean come on... this is the grocery/retail industry not the computer industry or manufacturing...

The union says that the contracts for the latter half says that "the negotiating committee's hard work produced a very good new contract".

How can having a layoff clause in a contract make it a good contract??


  • posted by <Soitis>
  • Sat, Jan 17, 2004 6:18am

As a Zehrs employee, I just received a letter from a Bernard Christophe (Chairman, Board of Trustees), about the Canadian Commercial Workers Industry Pension Plan. The two paragraph letter reads:

A combination of low interest rates, difficult investment markets and regulatory requirements has resulted in the Board of Trustees for the Pension Plan adopting a new current-service scale of benefits, effective January 2004.

Therefore, the additional three cents per hour negotiated between the Employer and the Union, to take effect January 2004, will be used to support the benefits already accrued under the Pension Plan and will not be used to provide an increase in the current-service benefit.

Did any other banner employee's who negotiated an increase receive a similar letter?

  • posted by blasdell
  • Sat, Jan 17, 2004 6:55am

Loblaw employees are not members of CCWIPP, they are in the Loblaw Pension Plan. If the company pension plan has unfunded liability at least the company has the wherewithal to support the shortfall, if there is any.

  • posted by weiser
  • Sat, Jan 17, 2004 12:27pm


posted by <Soitis>:
As a Zehrs employee, I just received a letter from a Bernard Christophe (Chairman, Board of Trustees), about the Canadian Commercial Workers Industry Pension Plan. The two paragraph letter reads:

A combination of low interest rates, difficult investment markets and regulatory requirements has resulted in the Board of Trustees for the Pension Plan adopting a new current-service scale of benefits, effective January 2004.

Therefore, the additional three cents per hour negotiated between the Employer and the Union, to take effect January 2004, will be used to support the benefits already accrued under the Pension Plan and will not be used to provide an increase in the current-service benefit.

Did any other banner employee's who negotiated an increase receive a similar letter?

Head over to this thread: CCWIPP Part 02: The best laid plans

"Difficult Inevestment markets" Ya, Bernie, tell us about them. Tell us about how you are part owner of the "difficult" CCWIPP investment called Case Financial. Tell us about the "difficult" investment called South Ocean Resort. Tell us about the difficult investment called MGI Meat Packers. Tell us about the difficult investment called Asia Web Holdings. Tell us about all the difficult investments why don't ya?

Tell us about the quarter billion dollars that could be down the toilet in the Bahamas.

  • posted by <Another screwed member>
  • Sun, Jan 18, 2004 8:07am

Hey BB,
Some Loblaws employees are part of CCWIPP. I received the same letter this week. In 1990 our Loblaws store was the only store left in Local 175 and we were forced to vote in favor of merging with Local 1000a or else the company was going to turn it into a No Frills and we wouldn't be able to bump into another Loblaws as it was a different local. If we didn't vote in favor we would be out of a job. When I started with Loblaws in Local 175 Loblaws paid into the CCWIPP as they currently do today because it was negotiated at the time by the union as part of the agreement in order to merge. After reading all that is going with our pension it makes sense as a friend of mine that is receiving pension payments from this fund had his payments reduced from $700.00/month to $550.00/month and was given a lame excuse as to why they had to reduce his payments. Just like CPP I am not depending on CCWIPP to support my retirement.

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