Hundreds of Loblaw union employees served layoff notices amid talks

Hundreds of workers at a Loblaw distribution center in Calgary have received layoff notices amid ongoing contract negotiations, according to a local union press release.

Alberta Teamsters Local 987 says more than 527 of 534 members have received layoff notices as of this week, after union members voted a second time Nov. 15 to reject the Loblaw’s offer.

A portion of fulfillment center workers who earn hourly wages struggle to earn less than Calgary’s acceptable living wage of $22.40, the union’s press release reads.

« Our members are feeling the pain of record inflation, particularly at the grocery store, and have expressed concern, » John Taylor, the union’s local branch sales agent, said in a written statement.

« As they negotiate for higher wages and a better quality of life, they face unnecessary layoffs, while Loblaw’s profits continue to soar, » Taylor continued.

The current contract expired in the summer of June 6, 2022, and Teamsters 987 told the company it would return to the bargaining table to avoid a potential dispute or further layoffs.

Alberta Teamsters Local 987 has over 5,000 workers in over 13 industries and 40 collective agreements.

Loblaw reported that its third quarter earnings were up about 30% from a year ago.

The grocery and drugstore retailer said its net income available to common shareholders was $556 million for the quarter ended Oct. 8, compared with $431 million in the same quarter last year, while revenue climbed to $17.39 billion in the quarter from $16.05 billion in its third quarter of 2021.

Grocery same-store sales increased 6.9%, driven by grocer discount banners including No Frills and Real Canadian Superstore.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

With files from The Canadian Press


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