Loblaw Companies refuses to honour union contract language and recognize National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday for its unionized employees

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Sept. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local Unions are calling out Loblaw Companies for refusing to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a paid holiday, and failing to abide by collective agreement language.

In July, the federal government passed legislation to create a federal statutory holiday on September 30 known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This holiday, which was one of the 94 recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of Canada, is intended to honour survivors of the Residential School system and their families and communities, and to commemorate the history of how this country has treated Indigenous Peoples.

It seems Loblaw Companies, unable to make the right decision on their own, waited until Doug Ford made the wrong decision – announcing yesterday that Ontario won’t be adding September 30 to its statutory paid holidays either – before simply following his lead.

“These decisions are particularly insulting to generations of Indigenous Peoples and dismissive of the legacy of Residential Schools and cultural genocide in this country,” said Shawn Haggerty, President of UFCW Local 175.

UFCW Local 175 represents tens of thousands of unionized workers at a number of Loblaw Companies Limited banners and locations which have collective agreement language for the automatic recognition of any declared holidays by either the federal or provincial governments as paid holidays.

“The language in the agreements is clear,” said Haggerty. “As a national employer, Loblaw Companies has an opportunity to set a standard and lead. But even with agreed-to contract language, the company still isn’t doing the right thing.”

“We are asking Loblaw Company to rethink this decision; to respect our members’ agreements and stand up and honour the legacy of Residential Schools and allow our members the time to reflect on Truth and Reconciliation in their own way,” said Haggerty.

UFCW Locals 175 & 633 will pursue this violation of its members’ rights under the respective agreements through the grievance and arbitration process.

UFCW Locals 175 & 633 represents more than 70,000 working people across all sectors of the Ontario economy including health care, retail grocery, pharmacy, meat processing, manufacturing, emergency services and more.

For more information contact:

Tim Deelstra, Engagement & Media Relations Strategist
UFCW Locals 175 & 633
226-750-4366 or media@ufcw175.com