Moose Jaw Co-op continues to reject higher wages than neighbouring competitors

No agreement was reached after Moose Jaw Co-op went back to the bargaining table with their partner Union, UFCW Local 1400. Derek Putz / Global News

No agreement was reached after Moose Jaw Co-op went back to the bargaining table with their partner union, UFCW Local 1400.

The union continued to reject wages higher than competing stores in Moose Jaw.

It comes after 130 union members at Moose Jaw Co-op locations took to the picket line in protest of a new contract that would see some workers earn less.

READ MORE: Moose Jaw Co-op workers strike over wage dispute

Gerry Onyskevitch, Moose Jaw Co-op’s general manager, expressed  while he was hopeful the labour disruption would have been resolved, the union continues to insist on removing a second-tier wage scale their members voted for in 2014.

“We came to an agreement on implementing second-tier tier wages during our 2014 round of bargaining, but now the union is choosing to impact our employees, business and community years later,” said Onyskevitch.

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“Our unionized competitors in Moose Jaw have second and third-tier wage scales, dating back to as early as 1995. UFCW has chosen to take a principled stand against Co-op while continuing to support the same principle in the stores of our competitors.”

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Onyskevitch stated Moose Jaw Co-op has put forward a compensation package that provides industry-leading wages and benefits for all employees.

“We provide a compensation package that respects our employees and their contributions to our business. The union’s claim that this package is not fair is simply unfounded, especially considering that our wages start higher and increase faster than competitors in our own city,” Onyskevitch said.

“We believe our community and our members have a right to know the facts about what our employees are paid, what we have offered at the bargaining table and how this compares to other UFCW unionized retails in Moose Jaw.”

In support of this, Moose Jaw Co-op has posted the full wage schedule as proposed in their best and final offer on their website, along with information from other UFCW Local 1400 collective agreements in Moose Jaw.

Onyskevitch expressed optimism that a fair and equitable resolution would be achieved, but again asserted a responsibility to manage the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of the Co-op.

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“We have not locked any employees out and will continue to support employees who wish to work. We thank the community and our members for their support. We look forward to coming to an agreement with our union partners so that we can continue to serve our community.”

Below is the offer from Moose Jaw Co-op to UFCW Local 1400:

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