Over 900 Metro & Food Basics Grocery Distribution Workers Have Gone On Strike In Ontario

Negotiations between Metro and the union resulted in a "tentative agreement" today.

Toronto Staff Writer
Metro storefront.

Metro storefront.

If your kale is looking a little wilted or your local Metro seems to be out of all your favourite crackers, you may want to give them some slack.

Over 900 full-time Etobicoke warehouse distribution workers that supply Metro and Food Basics across southern Ontario and into the Kingston-Windsor corridor went on strike on April 2. However, "a new tentative agreement" was struck today.

The end of the strike may be in sight with workers putting the new agreement with Metro Ontario Inc. to a "ratification vote" on Friday, April 8, according to a statement from Metro Ontario Inc. that was sent to Narcity.

On April 2, members of Unifor Local 414, who have been without a contract since October 2021, turned down a previous "tentative agreement" from Metro Ontario Inc., according to a press release.

"The members have final say on the tentative agreement and have opted to turn down this offer," said Chris MacDonald, Unifor Assistant to the National President. "The bargaining committee is ready to resume negotiations in the hope of bringing this strike to a speedy end."

The settlement proposed on April 2 by Metro Ontario Inc. included "an increase of 6% on average to hourly wages in the first year of the agreement and a total of 14% wage increase over 4 years as well as pension and benefits improvements," according to a press release from the company.

However, a Unifor representative also confirmed to Narcity that negotiations were "ongoing today."

Will stores stay open?

Metro Ontario Inc. enacted its contingency plan on April 2, and despite the strike, stores will remain open.

"We are pleased to announce that we have reached a new tentative agreement. The agreement, which is unanimously recommended by the union's bargaining committee, will be submitted to the employees for a ratification vote on Friday, April 8, 2022."

"Until the labour dispute is resolved, our contingency plan remains focused on continuing the supply of products to our Metro and Food Basics stores which remain open to serve our customers," Metro Ontario Inc. concluded.

*This story has been updated.*

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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