CAW Negotiates Strong Severance for Marystown Workers as Bargaining Continues at Dominion Stores

December 2, 2009, 3:24 PM EST

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CAW negotiators have bargained strong severance language for supermarket workers in Marystown as contract talks for a new agreement at Dominion Stores supermarket workers in Newfoundland are set to continue in the New Year with the support of a provincially-appointed conciliation officer.

Union negotiators and representatives of CAW Local 597 filed an application with the provincial Ministry of Labour after talks reached an impasse in November on issues of wages and the addition of more full-time jobs.

During this round of negotiations, Loblaws (who owns and operates 12 supermarkets under the Dominion Stores banner in Newfoundland) announced it would close its Marystown store on January 31, 2010 after the company failed to reach a new leasing deal for the store.

Store workers, community members and other labour activists rallied to keep the store open when its closure was first hinted as a possibility in July.

"The closure of the Marystown store is clearly not what we hoped to achieve during these negotiations," said Bill King, President of CAW Local 597 which represents 1,700 Dominion Stores workers in the province. "But at the end of the day we managed to secure strong severance and transfer language for the 76 members in the store that go above and beyond what's provided for under provincial legislation."

King attributed the union's success in negotiating strong severance language to the public pressure and ongoing activism of the community.

The Dominion Stores contract is set to expire on December 6, 2009. The terms and conditions of the agreement will remain in effect until a new contract is ratified by the members.


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