Discount grocery chain Food Basics and a subsidiary of Metro Inc. have announced that union workers at 114 stores have ratified a five-year agreement to avoid a strike.
The new agreement provides a wage and benefits increase, sidestepping a work interruption that Metro experienced earlier this year. The deal was reached Monday (Dec. 11) after nearly four months of negotiations.
Talk began in August, as its deal expired on Aug. 19. By early November, the union had sought conciliation services from the Ontario Ministry of Labour after talks hit an impasse on Nov. 3. The union negotiating committee broke off discussions.
Then on Nov. 12, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union disclosed that 99.5 per cent of Food Basics members voted in favour of a strike mandate. However, the deal ultimately came to fruition.
“We are pleased to have reached a fair and equitable outcome that allows us to continue to meet the needs of our customers, our employees and our business,” said Paul Bravi, senior vice president at Food Basics.
Metro has more than 95,000 employees stationed in Ontario and Quebec. It operates or services a network of 975 food stores under several banners, including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics. It also has 645 drugstores, primarily under the Jean Coutu, Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Food Basics Pharmacy brands.