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Labour dispute causes traffic disruption at Ontario Food Terminal in Etobicoke

WATCH ABOVE: Picket lines at the Ontario Food Terminal forced major delays on Thursday, as workers with Fresh Taste Produce were protesting higher wages. Cindy Pom reports.

A labour dispute at the Ontario Food Terminal is causing significant delays on the eastbound lanes of The Queensway in Etobicoke Thursday morning.

More than a dozen workers are on the picket lines blocking the entrance to the produce distribution centre after contract negotiations broke down at midnight.

Union leaders say employees for Fresh Taste Produce received union certification last fall and are negotiating their first contract.

WATCH: Striking employees at the Ontario Food Terminal block vehicles from entering

Strike at the Ontario Food Terminal
Strike at the Ontario Food Terminal

They say wages, benefits and pension issues are still outstanding.

“I think both sides negotiated in good faith. We weren’t able to get an agreement,” said Teamsters Local 419 representative Ken Dean.

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“It’s a first contract so everything is outstanding. Wages, benefits, pension, language.”

Striking employees tell Global News they have not received a pay increase for 14 years.

“It’s the fundamentals, the grievance procedure. We do have a lot of that ironed out. It’s mostly, frankly, the monetary end of it that’s outstanding right now,” said Dean.

“We feel we have an industry standard down here and we’re trying to get as close to that as we can.”

Workers on the picket lines say they are getting paid $14 to $15 an hour, however unionized workers receive around $20.

The Ontario Food Terminal Board issued a notice for a ‘picket protocol‘ late Wednesday night warning of disruptions on Thursday.

Vehicles at the The Queensway and Parklawn Road exits and entrances will be allowed to enter and leave the terminal grounds but will be stopped periodically.