After nearly seven weeks of picketing, workers at the downtown Halifax location of Sobeys-owned Pete’s Frootique officially ratified their inaugural collective agreement on Friday (Jan. 5), according to CBC.
Details of the deal are few at this time. However, the Service Employees International Union Local 2 said additional information about the agreement would be disclosed in the coming days.
“SEIU Local 2 would like to thank allies and community members for all the incredible support the workers received during the strike,” the union said in a statement.
Following the signing of the agreement, the events scheduled for the union’s national day of action on Saturday (Jan. 6) were cancelled. Demonstrations were planned in front of grocery stores nationwide.
The strike at Pete’s Frootique’s Dresden Row location in Halifax began on Nov. 18. The union said the motivation behind the strike was the workers’ demand for improved pay.
It notes most workers were earning minimum wage, with the company’s last offer proposing a five-cent per hour wage increase. The current minimum wage in Nova Scotia is $15 per hour, while a September report estimated a living wage in Halifax to be $26.50, according to the CBC.
Following the decision, a Sobeys representative said the company was looking forward to the return of its employees and customers to the Halifax branch of Pete’s Frootique. In an email to CBC, a union representative doubled down on the company’s commitment to negotiating in good faith.
“Our aim is always to negotiate in good faith,” the statement said. “Considerations must always be given to a fair package that is consistent with the market, considers the long-term viability of our stores, and ensures we can continue to provide an excellent experience for our customers.”