Unifor says more than 900 full-time workers at Metro Inc.'s Toronto-area distribution centre are on strike after voting to reject a tentative agreement with the grocer.
The union says the workers—without a contract since October—voted to reject the proposed deal on Saturday.
The job action comes as grocers post strong profits and executive bonuses while inflation eats away at the spending power of workers.
Canada's unemployment rate has also dropped below pre-pandemic levels, potentially giving workers more confidence in the bargaining process.
Chris MacDonald, Unifor assistant to the national president, said members had the final say on whether to accept a tentative agreement and opted to turn down the offer.
He said the bargaining committee was ready to resume negotiations in the hopes of bringing the strike to a speedy end.
Metro said the offer included a 6% wage increase in the first year, with total wage increases of 14% over four years.
The grocer said the tentative agreement also included improvements to pensions and benefits.
The Etobicoke distribution centre supplies Metro and Food Basics grocery stores across southern Ontario.
“We are disappointed with the employees’ decision to strike but remain ready to go back to the table,” said Carmen Fortino, executive vice-president, Ontario division head & national supply chain, Metro Ontario Inc., in a press release. “We have implemented our contingency plan and our stores will remain open to serve our customers.”