dominion strike newfoundland

Workers form a human chain at No Frills to strike over low wages

Employees of Dominion formed a human chain in a strike at a No Frills in Newfoundland, a partner of Dominion's parent company, Loblaw Companies Limited, over low wages. 

On Thursday, the striking Dominion workers gathered at the Kevin's No Frills in St. John's to form what they call a human solidarity chain to encourage the public to support the strike by shopping elsewhere. 

"Today's strike action is part of our ongoing campaign to get Loblaw to return to the bargaining table with a fair offer," said Jerry Dias, president of Unifor National, the union that represents the workers, in a news release.

"Our members will be asking No Frills customers to show support for the workers by shopping elsewhere today."

The human chain is connected by six-foot-long ropes that allow the workers to properly social distance. 

The strike has been ongoing since Aug. 22 as a demand for living wages and full-time jobs from the company, which Unifor says "classifies over 80 per cent of the workers as part-time and pays more than half minimum wage." 

"Over the past six weeks Loblaw has continued to sell its products at No Frills and Shoppers Drug Mart. While the company continues to rake in increased profits during the pandemic, it also continues to refuse to pay its frontline workers a living wage," added Unifor 597 President Carolyn Wrice in the news release.

"The workers have received tremendous support from the public during this strike and today we are asking them to join us in sending a message to Loblaw and its Chairman Galen Weston."

Workers voted to strike back in July after Dominion cut 60 full-time positions at stores in the province last year. In June, Loblaw also decided to cancel their $2-per-hour pay bumps for frontline staff during the pandemic. 

While an offer to restore half the increase over the span of a three-year contract was offered by the company, workers rejected it in hopes of a better deal.

Lead photo by

Jake Rlbar

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Workers form a human chain at No Frills to strike over low wages