Monday, April 05, 2010



The other day this blog reported on the call from Loblaws employees in Sudbury for a boycott of the Loblaws wing of the Weston octopus/conglomerate.

The Weston empire seems to have more aliases than I have fingers, and one of them in Québec is called 'Provigo'. It also seems that whatever mask it wears the Weston empire is a particularly nasty piece of (fill in the blank ) to work for. Here's a story translated from the French Radio Canada about the Provigo distribution centre in Québec City managed to maneuver their way into locking out their employees as a sort of 'Easter Present'. The original in French is here. Here is a translation.


400 workers locked out
Photo: The Canadian Press / Jacques Boissinot

Provigo belongs to Loblaws.

Workers in the distribution center Provigo Park Armand-Viau Quebec, have been put on the street by their employer at midnight on the night of Friday to Saturday.

In a press release, the employer alleges that the union did not take its latest offering seriously , filed Wednesday, just hours before the expiry of the collective agreement.

The management of Provigo had given the CSN 48 hours to submit its proposal , called "final" to a vote. But the ultimatum went unanswered.

The union says that the period was too short to call 400 people at a special meeting in the middle of Easter weekend. They accused management of having planned closure.

The period is a pretext for the employer. For two weeks they transferred in volume. The contract ended on March 31 and 30, there were no more cases in the warehouse. There are no surprises. The intentions of the employer were to do a lockout.
- Dany Tremblay, president of the union

Members will vote next Wednesday on the employer's new offer. Provigo said it will maintain its proposal until that date, after which it will lapse.

The workers had rejected a previous by more than 99% two weeks ago, and voted for a strike mandate.

The talks foundered on sub-contracting, wages and working hours. The union workers demanded conditions similar to those offered by competitors such as Metro and IGA.

The management of Provigo supports taking steps to continue supplying the stores serviced by the warehouse, ie Loblaws, Provigo, Maxi and Intermarché in the east of the province.

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