ST. JOHN’S, NL – On Monday, Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp. (NLC) announced that five liquor stores in the province are closed until further notice due to the Dominion strike.
The closed locations are 5 Murphy Sq. In Corner Brook, 20 Lake Ave. at St. John’s, 150 Old Placentia Rd. at Mount Pearl, 260 Blackmarsh Road. in St. John’s and 55 Stavanger Dr. in St. John’s.
âFrom a liquor store perspective, store closures and reallocation of NLC staff are carried out in a way that allows NLC to meet the needs of customers while meeting its obligations to our staff,â said a door. – speech of NLC.
âIt will require some changes in shifts and hours. However, the impact of this is unknown at this time. The intention is to minimize disruption to our staff while meeting customer needs and recognizing the current state of work at Loblaws.
Liquor store workers are unionized with the Association of Public and Private Employees of Newfoundland and Labrador (NAPE), and President Jerry Earle said the union was working diligently with the NLC to try to mitigate the negative effects.
“However, we believe that all of this could have been avoided if the Weston family – Loblaws – had treated their frontline workers fairly,” said Earle.
âThey eroded full-time jobs, then expected those part-time workers to work just above minimum wage, and we clearly saw the value of the work these employees always did, but certainly did. through this pandemic. â
Earle said it is likely that some employees from the closed locations will be redeployed to nearby locations that are open and now busier due to the smaller number of liquor stores available.
“It is only after this planning is completed that we will see what the impact is and then we will continue to work to make sure, once again, that no one is adversely affected or mitigated to the best of our ability.”
He said it will likely be a few days before there is a clear idea of ââhow many NLC employees are affected and the impact on those employees.
Food to give
Liquor store workers are not the only ones affected by the strike.
On Sunday, The Telegram saw a cleaner prevented from crossing the picket line to Pearlgate Plaza Dominion, where he was due to report for work.
There were also reports on social media that striking workers prevented an Armor transport truck from entering a Dominion parking lot in St. John’s on Monday.
Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne tweeted a photo of striking women in front of an Armor truck.
Payne wrote: âDominion workers prevent a transport truck from leaving with perishables until they make a commitment to get the food to those in need.
The telegram contacted Armor Transportation Systems by phone Monday afternoon and was transferred to an operations person who said the company could not comment on the situation, citing confidentiality.
âGiven the current situation, we have been in contact with local food banks to donate as much of our perishable food as possible. ” – Mark Boudreau, Loblaw Atlantic
However, Loblaw Atlantic’s director of corporate affairs, Mark Boudreau, said Dominion stores have a long-standing partnership with the Community Food Sharing Association and other food bank organizations across the province.
âGiven the current situation, we have been in contact with local food banks to donate as much of our perishable food as possible,â Boudreau wrote in an email to the Telegram Monday afternoon.
Unifor National President Jerry Dias said in a press release earlier Monday afternoon that grocery store strikers will help in any way they can get perishables out of stores and turn them over to non-profit organizations. lucrative who can distribute the food.
âIronically, some of Dominion’s own workers use local food banks, so we’re very aware of the needs in our communities,â said Unifor Local 597 president Carolyn Wrice. “Workers are taking a stand to improve working conditions and draw attention to the poverty wages that profitable grocery giants like Loblaw continue to pay.”
The Dominion strike began on Saturday night after workers voted overwhelmingly to refuse the latest contract offered by Loblaw.
Unionized Dominion workers had already voted in favor of the strike in July, but Loblaw and Unifor reached a tentative collective agreement that appeared to be able to prevent a walkout. However, the workers rejected the interim agreement.
Wrice said workers wanted the full-time jobs that were clawed back in 2019 when 60 full-time positions were cut from Newfoundland stores. She said workers also want good benefits and better wages.
The workers have been without a contract since October 2019.