According to the latest information to members posted to the UFCW Local 1518 website, the Mediation talks between Extra Foods (Loblaws) and the local have ground to a halt after the representatives of Loblaws walked away from the negotiating table, that after apparently rejecting the Union’s latest proposal to settle a new Collective Agreement.
The breakdown of mediation efforts took place on February 18th two days after the two sides had returned to the discussion table. According to the details from the UFCW site, those talks resumed after the Labour Relations Board (LRB) found the employer to be guilty of violating Section 11 of the Labour Relations Code. In background on that decision the website outlines that the decision was based on the fact that the employer had made an inability to pay argument to justify their demands for cuts in pay and benefits, but then refused to disclose financial information to support their claims.
As for the details on the latest disruption in negotiations from the union website's point of view, they outline how the employer left the discussions, without giving the Union any explanation as to why they were ending talks and with no change to their demand for massive cuts in pay and benefits as part of their plan to convert the store to a “No Frills” banner.
For the moment the Labour Relations Board negotiator has apparently remained engaged in the process, but no further details are available as to a timetable for resumption of negotiations or if the current impasse can be overcome.
A quick walk through the local Extra Foods store provides a hit and miss scenario when it comes to stocked shelves, leaving a customer to wonder exactly what is going on inside that Rupert Square location.
Some sections sit completely bare, while others have a rather plentiful supply of product.
The frozen foods section and other refrigeration sections however seem the ones that are the most sparse when it comes to product, while other sections have been eliminated completely especially the once well stocked bulk foods section. Whether this is by design or in anticipation of further events remains to be seen.