Co-op Responds to Strike


MJ Independent

Picketers officially took to the picket lines in front of Moose Jaw Co-op locations on Tuesday October 2nd.

UFCW Local 1400 representative, Rod Gillies, said the biggest disagreement between union and company was a “two-tiered wage grid” that affects predominately female employees, in six grocery store clerk positions and would prevent employees hired after the date the contract was ratified from making the same wages as employees hired before it.

We contacted Getty Onyskevitch, Co-op Moose Jaw’s General Manager and he sent us a news release detailing the company’s stance.

The company expresses “disappointment that UFCW 1400 has rejected has rejected the company’s most recent offer.”

“We have always compensated our employees fairly” Onyskevitch said, “and this offer is no different with wage increases and a signing bonus that lead the industry.”

Onyskevitch said Moose Jaw Co-op is protecting employee wages and benefits, offering a two per cent increase in each of the four years of the contract and a signing bonus in the first year.

Furthermore, he stated “In 2014, Moose Jaw Co-op employees voted to accept the introduction of a secondary wage scale for new employees doing certain jobs. A tiered structure is common within the retail industry and the Co-op introduced it to remain competitive. In fact, two of Moose Jaw Co-op’s major competitors which are also represented by UFCW Local 1400, have implemented similar structures in their collective agreements since as early as 1995.”

Onyskevitch continued: “The Union has refused to bargain other outstanding issues during this round of bargaining unless the Co-operative is prepared to discuss the removal of this second tier. The Co-operative is committed to continue to bargain in good faith, but will take the necessary steps to ensure the continuity of our business and the sustainability of the Co-operative through this work stoppage.”

Read: Co-op Employees Officially on Strike for the Union’s position on the matter