Workers at Good-Humor Breyers ON STRIKE!

September 5, 2013 at 5:34pm

The 375 UFCW Local 175 members working at Good Humor-Breyers in Simcoe took to the picket lines at 12:01 am on September 1, 2013.

At a vote held on August 31, workers turned down the company’s final offer by 97%.

“The negotiating committee rejected the company’s concessionary proposals unanimously and recommended that the membership do the same,” said Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty. “These workers have the full support of the Union. We need to show this company that gutting a contract like this has a dire effect on the quality of life for these workers, their families and the community.”

The proposed concessions included a wage cut of $4.50 per hour for approximately 100 workers in light labour, a female-dominated job classification. All other classifications would see their wages frozen for the duration of the three-year agreement. In addition, workers’ wages would be deducted from to pay toward the cost of benefits. Further concessions included a reduction of the workweek by up to 2.5 hours, resulting in a monetary loss of between 4.17% and 6.25%, depending on the worker’s shifts. Other attacks targeted further benefit and vacation changes and the elimination of jobs.

The parties met in bargaining on July 24 before conciliation was requested for two further dates in August. On August 28, the Union and company met in mediation where the Union was given the final offer.Workers at the facility produce a number of products including ice cream, popsicles, ice cream bars and other frozen dairy desserts under the brand name Breyers. The previous collective agreement between Good Humor-Breyers and its Unionized workers expired on August 31.