UFCW Canada Local 1006A won its arbitration against National Grocers Co (Loblaw’s Maple Grove Distribution Centre), paving the way for the recognition of The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30, as a statutory holiday for our members at the distribution centre as well as Loblaw Great Food & Real Canadian Superstore (RCSS).
As a result of the union's successful arbitration win, Loblaws has conceded to the decision in the Maple Grove case and will be recognizing September 30 as a paid holiday for our members who are covered under a collective agreement with similar language. This means, our members working in Loblaw Great Food and RCSS locations will receive September 30 as a paid holiday.
UFCW 1006A had filed the grievance against National Grocers at the Maple Grove Distribution Centre and then subsequently against Loblaws Great Food & RCSS.
The new developments affect 900 workers at the Maple Grove Distribution Centre and 14,000 workers at Loblaw Great Food and RCSS.
“This is a tremendous victory for our members at Maple Grove, Loblaws Great Food and RCSS,” said President Wayne Hanley. “We fought hard to ensure the union contract and the history and struggles of Canada’s Indigenous people would be honoured when Loblaw’s decided not to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday for our members. We are pleased with the arbitration decision at Maple Grove, which upheld our members’ rights under their union contract and paved the way for our members at Loblaw and RCSS.”
Discussions are ongoing with the company on the payout to impacted members regarding the September 30, 2021 holiday. More information will be released when it becomes available.
The local union utilized the expedited grievance process in the Maple Grove case in an effort to have an arbitrator hear the case quickly. A date was set for October 18 for the Maple Grove grievance, where UFCW 1006A asked the arbitrator that our members be paid in accordance with the strong and clear language in the collective agreement recognizing September 30 as a statutory holiday.
On October 26, 2021, the arbitrator ruled, "Having regard to the foregoing it is my determination that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation should have been recognized as a paid holiday under Article 12.01(b) of the collective agreement and that the failure by the Employer to do so constituted a violation of the collective agreement. It is further my determination that the Employer be ordered to compensate all affected employees for any losses resulting from this violation.”
Established recently by the federal government, this new statutory holiday is an important time for all Canadians to remember and reflect on the shameful legacy of residential schools. Canada's residential school system devastated families and communities, aimed to erase Indigenous people and culture, and unleashed a cycle of pain and destruction that continues to this day. The creation of this holiday fulfilled a recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. This holiday will be observed for the first time this year and UFCW Local 1006A is calling on the Province of Ontario to make September 30 a Provincial Statutory Holiday for Truth and Reconciliation.
Members with questions can contact their union representative.