Food Basics workers at grocery stores across Ontario are warning customers of a pre-Thanksgiving September 29 strike deadline.
This week, Food Basics members are handing out reusable grocery bags containing an information postcard to inform customers of the potential labour disruption.
Unifor Local 414 represents more than 1,400 workers at 20 southern Ontario Food Basics stores. Negotiations with the company are scheduled to resume Monday, September 27, with a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, September 29, 2021.
Stephanie Bonk, communications manager for Metro Ontario and Food Basics, provided the following statement to Grocery Business:
"Food Basics is currently in bargaining for the renewal of the UNIFOR collective agreement which covers employees at 20 of the 139 Food Basics located across Ontario. As is customary in such circumstances, UNIFOR has solicited a strike mandate from its members.
"The parties will continue negotiations on September 27 and 28. Food Basics remains committed to work with the union bargaining committee to negotiate a fair, equitable and competitive settlement that meets the needs of our employees, our customers and our company. We are convinced that it is possible to find solutions without a labour dispute.
"Food Basics will not negotiate in the public arena but notes that employees currently benefit from a good collective agreement that is comparable to that of all its competitors.
"In the event of a strike, the pharmacies that operate in some of our Food Basics stores will remain open and that we will continue to care for our patients."