UFCW 1518 members at Grand & Toy ratified a strong new collective agreement on April 22, 2017.
The warehouse workers voted 93 percent in favour of the four year agreement, which contains many significant gains. “We were really pleased with how negotiations went. The employer was respectful and our bargaining committee was really focused on what members said they wanted,” explains union representative Ravi Dhindsa.
The contract earned members a significant 9.6 percent total wage hike, retroactive to December 1, 2016, as well as an increase to employer pension and dental contributions. The bargaining committee, made up of Dennis Sonnenberg and Edgardo Bunagan, were successful in negotiating a higher eye wear allowance and – critically for workers always on their feet – an increase to the footwear allowance, which more than doubled from $60 to $150. There were also important wins around vacation, including the ability to take up to five days of vacation in accrued dollars and new language for statutory holidays “and any other holiday that may be declared by either the federal or provincial governments.”
Together with a higher shift premiums and sick day payouts and the new contract goes a long way to providing a stable income in a province where housing and childcare costs have skyrocketed. Says Dhindsa, “with affordability increasingly out of reach, solid collective agreements with steady gains are important for our members and all unionized workers.”