Sobeys to reevaluate Quebec warehouse network after strike at Terrebonne facility led to

After more than a month of strike action at the Terrebonne auto distribution center, Sobeys management now says it is re-evaluating its entire Quebec warehouse network.

The Canadian press can read the letter Sobeys management sent to all owners, directors and general managers, outlining the ‘contingency plans’ to be deployed, following a strike by some 190 workers at the Terrebonne distribution center.

“Despite our desire to operate in Quebec, we are currently re-evaluating our entire warehouse network in the province,” senior management wrote in the letter.

Purchases of land in other provinces are also being considered to ensure a continuous supply of shops, the contingency plan said.

“Several optimization options with our Ontario and Maritime networks, as well as land purchases in other provinces, are being considered to ensure the best level of service and to avoid future service disruptions,” it also states.

Senior management cited the fact that, following a labor dispute in Terrebonne, it had contacted other centers in Ontario and the Maritimes to maintain store supply.

For the United Food and Commercial Workers union, lawyer and negotiator Kim Bergeron said the news was “not surprising” in the context of difficult labor relations. “Threats are something we are used to.”

He said UFCW Local 501 had lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Manpower alleging the use of scabs.

Sobeys management claims that these warehouse workers are paid nearly $30 an hour over scale. Bergeron confirmed that they were paid $29.50 per hour.

– This Canadian Press report was first published in French on 17 March 2022

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