Members Locked Out by employer at Sudbury Rona
NOVEMBER 12, 2015 – Members of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175 working at Rona on Barrydowne Road in Sudbury were locked out by their employer this morning at 12:01 a.m.
“These are hardworking members of the Sudbury community,” said Shawn Haggerty, President of UFCW Local 175. “As long as this employer continues to keep their employees locked out in the cold, the Union will be standing right next to them.”
One of the outstanding issues in this set of negotiations is that the employer took the unlawful position to force some employees with seniority to work Sundays, which the Union believes is a direct violation of the Employment Standards Act (ESA). Under the ESA, those retail employees hired before September 4, 2001 have the right to refuse to work on Sundays, and this provision applies to a number of employees at this store.
“To lock out our members because they want to maintain their legal right to refuse Sunday work and achieve a fair collective agreement is an extreme position to take,” said Haggerty. “It’s shocking that the employer would retaliate like this.”
The picketing workers ask the community and public not to cross their picket line or shop at any Rona locations until the dispute is resolved at which time the workers would welcome their customers back to the store.
The Union has informed the Ministry of Labour and the employer of its willingness to return to negotiations. Union representatives have made a number of requests to meet with the employer but the employer has refused to come back to the bargaining table. At this time, the Union is preparing to bring charges against the employer at the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) for bargaining in bad faith, and file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour asserting that the Union members are being subjected to reprisals for exercising their rights under the ESA.
The Local Union received notice from the employer on November 11 at 7:30 p.m. regarding their intention to lock out their workers only hours later.