Unionized workers protest at Toronto Loblaws

Members of CSN union picket over long-running labour dispute in Quebec

Unionized workers from three northern Quebec Loblaw stores hit Toronto on Tuesday to protest what their union termed the supermarket chain’s “refusal to negotiate an end to their long labour conflicts.”

About 30 protestors set up picket lines outside the front doors of the Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens store in downtown Toronto Tuesday morning.

They blew whistles and waved placards that incorporated Loblaw’s well-known private label brands. “Loblaw. No Name: No Negotiations,” read one. The other said “President’s Choice Lockout.”

The union representing the workers, the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) also planned to set up a picket line at a Loblaws store on Yonge Street in North York, Ont. before heading to protest outside Loblaw’s head office in Brampton, Ont., shortly after noon Tuesday.

The protest stems from a labour dispute at two stores in Rouyn-Noranda (a Maxi and a Loblaws) and a Provigo in Temiscaming.

The workers at these stores are either on strike or locked out, with the longest labour dispute having lasted 14 months, according to the union.

The protests come after Loblaw reached tentative deals with Real Canadian Superstore workers in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

A brief strike at Alberta RCS stores and Real Canadian Liquorstores last weekend was resolved when a contract was negotiated with the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

Some 8,500 workers at the 55 RCS and liquor stores in Alberta have since ratified the deal.

Saskatchewan Loblaw workers are expected to vote on ratification this week, while Manitoba workers are scheduled to vote next week.

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