January 7, 2019 9:11 am
Updated: February 11, 2019 12:55 pm

Striking Saskatoon Co-op employees reject latest contract offer

Sixty per cent of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local 1400 who voted rejected the latest contract offer from Saskatoon Co-op.

File Photo / Global News

Striking Saskatoon Co-op employees who have been walking the picket line for over two months have rejected the latest contract offer from the company.

The company said 60 per cent of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1400 who voted on Friday rejected the offer.

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READ MORE: UFCW picketers rally outside FCL in downtown Saskatoon

Saskatoon Co-op CEO Grant Wicks said although they are disappointed with the result, they see it as progress towards a new contract.

“Given how close the vote was, we’re still optimistic that we can work with the union and our employees to reach an agreement,” Wicks said in a statement.

Roughly 900 union members have been off the job since Nov. 1, 2018.

The main issue is the company’s desire to bring in a second-tier wage scale for new employees.

The union has said the two-tier wage system would lower wages for women and vulnerable groups.

WATCH BELOW: Coverage of the Saskatoon Co-op strike by members of UFCW Local 1400

The company said its latest offer had revisions to the second-tier wage structure, including fewer positions in the second-tier and higher starting wages.

Saskatoon Co-op has said the current wage ranges are unsustainable and changes are needed for the company to remain competitive.

READ MORE: Saskatoon Co-op employees voting on new contract

No new bargaining dates have been announced.

The strike is impacting Co-op grocery stores, gas stations, and other locations in Saskatoon and area.

The food store and gas bar at the Centre Mall on 8th Street is not affected as employees at those locations are represented by a different union.

With files from Rebekah Lesko.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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