Co-op Employees Officially on Strike


Nick Murray

Wage discrepancies have led to picket lines in front of Moose Jaw’s Co-op locations.

UFCW 1400 officially went on strike on Tuesday October 2nd, and the weather was none too friendly, picketers from the downtown grocery store, three gas stations and an agro-station cardlock walked the sidewalks while embracing rain, sleet, snow and chilly temperatures.

There are 134 employees. The amount of which are out protesting is as of yet undetermined.

Picketers in front of the Co-op gas bar located on 9th Avenue on South Hill.

Picketers in front of the Co-op gas bar located on 9th Avenue on South Hill.

“The main issue is a second-tier wage grid.” said Rod Gillies, UFCW’s bargaining representative.

That means “lower wages for anyone, in six different classifications, hired after the ratification of the contract.”

If you’re doing the same work you should be getting the same pay.

— Rod Gillies, UFCW 1400's Bargaining Representative

The six classifications in question are grocery store clerk positions that are “predominately female positions” Gillies noted.

“82 percent of those positions, are female. 78 percent of new hires in those positions are female” Gillies said, adding “this is a wage disparity that needs to be addressed.”

“The company has indicated the maintenance of second-tier wages is for the sustainability of the business.”

The union and the company have arranged for a meeting on Wednesday evening, Gillies says the goal of that meeting is to discuss the second-tier wage grid.

Here is the story from the perspective of Moose Jaw Co-op.