Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Sobeys, workers say, is only offering raises of $0.05 an hour.

Tug of war between Pete’s union members and the giant Sobeys< /p>

Striking workers at Pete's grocery store in Halifax demonstrate Saturday in front of a Sobeys grocery store in Dartmouth.

Radio-Canada

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In Halifax, Nova Scotia, a standoff continues between workers at Pete's Frootique & Fine Foods to the owner of this brand, the agri-food giant Sobeys.

The Pete’s grocery store chain was founded about 40 years ago by a Maritime entrepreneur and expanded throughout the region. This independent chain was purchased by Sobeys in 2015.

The 95 employees of the Pete's grocery store located on Dresden Row in Halifax, unionized in spring 2022. They are now represented by Local 2 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Saying to wait for a year and a half of a fair labor contract with Sobeys, they voted 98% in favor of a strike on November 5.

The strike was called and the Halifax grocery store has been closed since November 18.

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Workers are demanding wage increases and paid sick leave.

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Striking workers at Pete's grocery store in Halifax demonstrated outside a Sobeys grocery store in Dartmouth on Saturday. $.20 an hour for 70 percent of workers and as little as $0.05 an hour for the majority of employees, according to the union.

The majority of staff earn the minimum wage of $15 an hour, lower than the provincial average for service industry workers and at a time when the living wage in Halifax is estimated at around $26 an hour .

On Saturday, solidarity actions took place in front of more than a dozen Sobeys-owned establishments across the country. p>Open in full screen mode

Striking Pete's workers demonstrated outside a Sobeys in Dartmouth on Saturday.

Pete's employees are calling for a boycott of businesses owned by Sobeys – which includes several other brands, including IGA, Rachelle-Béry, Lawtons, Foodland, Needs and Boni-Soir – until the company presents them with a decent offer .

Nicholle Savoie, who has worked at Pete's for almost five years, recalled that their salary does not even allow them to buy the products that they sell.

As the strike enters its fifth week, Sobeys has repeatedly accused union members of canceling meetings in the media and in customer communications.

The union declares that this is not the case and that it was the Ministry of Labor which canceled a conciliation session.

In an email sent to Radio-Canada on Saturday, a Sobeys spokeswoman said the company was prepared to return to the negotiation table.

According to the report by Kheira Morellon

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