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UFCW picketers rally outside FCL in downtown Saskatoon

The main sticking point between striking UFCW members and Saskatoon Co-op is a proposed two-tier wage structure.
The main sticking point between striking UFCW members and Saskatoon Co-op is a proposed two-tier wage structure. Devin Sauer / Global News

Striking Saskatoon Co-op workers held a rally Thursday afternoon outside Federated Co-operatives headquarters in downtown Saskatoon.

United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local 1400 members have been off the job since Nov. 1.

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The main sticking point between the union and the company is a proposed wage structure that would pay existing employees more money than new hires for doing the same work.

The union said proposed scale is unfair and will cause problems.

“It creates two different groups of people,” UFCW national president Paul Meinema said at the rally.

“You’re working beside someone as a cashier, meat cutter, or a stock clerk, and simply because you were hired a day later, you are now going to be paid for the remainder of your career at a different rate of pay.”

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Saskatoon Co-op said adjusted wage scales for new employees are common in the industry, and its proposed wages are higher than its competitors.

The union said no dates have been scheduled for the two sides to return to the bargaining table.