Striking Saskatoon Co-op employees ratify new contract

WATCH ABOVE: Tentative deal reached in Saskatoon Co-op strike.

A strike at Saskatoon Co-op that lasted over five months has ended.

Members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1400 voted 54 per cent in favour on Tuesday to accept the terms of a new contract worked out between the two sides on the weekend.

READ MORE: Tentative deal reached in Saskatoon Co-op strike

The seven-year agreement includes a two-tier wage scale and a two per cent wage increase per year for the duration of the contract.

“At the end of the day, we came to an agreement that allows our Co-op to stay competitive while providing good jobs in our community,” said Saskatoon Co-op CEO Grant Wicks.

“We look forward to serving our communities together with our employees as they transition back to work.”

Story continues below advertisement

Roughly 900 employees walked off the job on Nov. 1, 2018, after being without a contract for more than two years. They will return to work on April 21.

The sides had been at odds over the proposed two-tier wage scale that would pay new employees less than existing workers.

Details of the agreed-upon wage scale have not been released, but Wicks said there is a mechanism to reduce the gap between the scales in years the company has financial success.

READ MORE: Union calls for binding arbitration to end Saskatoon Co-op contract dispute

The UFCW Local 1400 bargaining committee and Saskatoon Co-op met last Friday and Saturday, according to Rod Gillies, director of negotiations for the local.

The tentative deal was reached with the assistance of a special mediator, Gillies said.

— With files from Ryan Kessler