AJAX, ON, Nov. 20, 2021 – Canada’s largest union, Unifor, has elevated pay, benefits and working conditions for 1,000 warehouse workers at the Loblaw Distribution Centre in Ajax, Ontario with the negotiation of a new four-year collective agreement as of today.
Pressure for a livable wage for Canadians by Unifor have led to some key changes for employees at Loblaw. Earlier this month thousands of Unifor members making above minimum wage recently saw a 4-4.5% wage increase because of the proposed minimum wage increase announced in Ontario. This includes 7,000 retail grocery chain workers. This gain stems from Unifor’s collective agreements in retail and service sectors that include wage language tied to minimum wage, referred to as minimum wage plus.
The provincial government announced legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour on January 1, 2022, eliminate the lower rate for liquor servers, and adjust additional special minimum wages including student, homeworker, and hunting and fishing guides.
A November 1, 2021 report by the Ontario Living Wage Network released an updated list of living wage thresholds in various regions of the province, ranging from $16.20 in London to $22.08 in Halton.
For Loblaw warehouse workers the collective agreement was accepted in a ratification vote by the Unifor Local 222 members.
Highlights of the four-year agreement:
- Warehouse start rate increased by $3 an hour from $19 – $22
- All other Wage Classifications increase 11% – 14% over four years
- Signing Bonus of $2,000 for members with four years or more and $1,000 for those with three years or less, including part-time workers.
- Company RRSP contribution for workers with more than five years service increased from 3.5% to 5%
- Additional week of vacation added for workers with 15 years of service, for a total of five weeks vacation.
- Benefit upgrades to vision, dental, hearing and boot allowance
- Shift Premium increase
- The creation off a Racial Justice Advocate
THE 2021 LIVING WAGE RATES:
|COMMUNITY||LIVING WAGE RATE|
|Leeds, Grenville, Lanark Counties||$18.25|
|Perth and Huron Counties||$17.95|
|Sault Ste. Marie||$16.20|
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.