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At a Valu-Mart in Quebec, workers go on strike


Workers at a Valu-Mart store in Shawville, Que. went on strike Thursday after talks with the store’s franchisee and Loblaw Co. failed to reach a settlement.

Karen Cartman, president of the union local that represents the workers, the Confederation des syndicats nationaux (CSN), said 32 employees of the store, John’s Valu-Mart, are on strike.

The main issue is wages. The union is demanding the same type of settlement for the workers in Shawville as was reached with similar-size stores elsewhere in Quebec, Cartman said. “We made a very fair proposal and it was turned down."

Loblaw, however, says a “one size fits all” contract isn’t viable for the Shawville market. In a statement, it said the store has “struggled to remain viable in this small community” after a strike six years ago.

“Unfortunately, the CSN union has pursued a largely non negotiable "one size fits all" bargaining platform, which would increase the labour costs of the store significantly and would restrict critical flexibility required to operate a store in a small community such as Shawville,” Loblaw said in its statement. 

The union is asking for a four-year contract, while management is asking for a six-year deal.

The Valu-Mart store has been closed since the strike started. And on Friday workers were on site boarding the windows and doors of the store, according to Cartman.

Another round of bargaining is scheduled for Dec. 8

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