London Dr. Oetker workers ratify memorandum of agreement with company: union

Striking members of UFCW Local 157 outside of the Dr. Oetker plant in London, Ont. on Feb. 16, 2022. Scott Monich/980 CFPL

Striking London, Ont., Dr. Oetker workers have voted to ratify a memorandum of settlement with the company, the union representing the workers said Wednesday.

Details remain limited about the settlement, which an official with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 175 said was ratified with 62-per cent support.

Members met at 3 p.m. Wednesday to vote on the tentative agreement, which was reached the previous afternoon, nearly a week after UFCW Local 175 members hit the picket line on Feb. 16, halting production at the plant.

The union represents approximately 251 workers at the facility, which opened in 2014 and manufactures millions of frozen pizzas every year for the German multinational.

The plant is considered a production hub for Dr. Oetker’s North American pizza operations.

Read more: Dr. Oetker workers take to the picket line outside London, Ont. plant

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Members had previously voted by a narrow margin to reject a final offer from the company on Feb. 12. Of the 60 per cent of members who voted at the time, just over half voted against.

Sam Caetano, director for the local, previously told Global News that the union had been seeking an equal pay increase for all workers, rather than the staggered wage increase offered by the company, which differed according to the member’s classification.

As well, Caetano said the union had sought an equal production bonus for all members. The company’s offer, he said, had suggested two different production bonuses which also differed according to classification.

The terms of the ratified memorandum of settlement were not immediately clear. An inquiry to Caetano Wednesday was not returned by publishing time.

Members joined UFCW in 2018. Their last contract, ratified in 2019, expired at the end of December 2021. Talks on a new three-year deal initially began in September.

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