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Loblaw expected to begin negotiations with Quebec workers

Workers protested outside of the retailer's headquarters to bring attention to labour issues

The union representing striking and locked out workers at Loblaw’s owned stores in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region have returned from their day of demonstrations in Toronto.

The Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) is preparing for an Oct. 23 meeting to discuss Quebec-wide negotiations with Loblaw’s expected to begin in January.

A busload of striking and locked out workers from the Maxi and Loblaws stores in Rouyn-Noranda and the Provigo in Témiscaming, wound up their day in Toronto yesterday at Loblaw’s headquarters in Brampton, waving placards and chanting slogans and handing out English pamphlets.

The trip to Toronto to raise awareness of the ongoing dispute in Quebec came after a five-week tour through Quebec to publicize the union’s labour woes in Quebec.

The dispute at one store has lasted more than 14 months.

READ: Loblaw, union set to resume talks after strike and lockouts

"It's hard to get attention in Témiscaming," said Lyle Stewart, CSN spokesperson, which represents the Loblaw’s workers.

Stewart said Loblaw sends negotiators to Quebec without any powers to negotiate.

Canadian Grocer hasn’t yet to receive comment from Loblaw.

Alain said the union is fighting to resist Loblaw’s drive to bring down wages and benefits in all of its stores to keep it in step with Target and Walmart, all companies, he said that are known for low wages and benefits.

Tentative agreements in the West at the company’s Real Canadian Superstores have ended disputes there with the United Food and Commercial Worker’s Union.

READ: Alberta Superstore workers vote to ratify new contract

Loblaw was fined $5,000 by the Quebec Labour Relations board in June for negotiating in bad faith, interfering with union activities and contravening the charter of rights, Stewart said.

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