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Workers at 69 stores owned by Loblaw Cos. Ltd. in Ontario have voted to accept a six-year contract offer from the grocer. As a result of the vote, strikes that began July 2 at nine stores and actions slated to start at another 60 additional markets on Saturday, July 11, have been cancelled.
Twelve thousand employees at the locations, which include select Real Canadian Superstore, Zehrs Great Food and Loblaws Great Food stores, are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) locals 1000A and 175 & 633. Thay had rejected an earlier tentative deal, leading to the strikes at the nine supermarkets.
"In a competitive market, the terms of the contract provide both our colleagues and our company a fair deal and security," Loblaw said in a statement. "Ultimately, it sets the stage for an even stronger relationship."
According to published reports, the contract provides lump-sum bonuses, wage increases and protection of defined benefit pension plans. Additionally, the Ontario Ministry of Labour will facilitate and sponsor a program aimed at improving communications among the company, the union and employees, The Toronto Globe and Mail reported.
With more than 2,300 corporate, franchised and associate-owned locations, Brampton, Ontario-based Loblaw employs about 192,000 full- and part-time employees, making it one of Canada's largest private-sector employers. The company has 1,050 grocery stores across Canada.