Google Maps photo UFCW 1518 and the employer reached a collective agreement Dec. 11, 2018 on wage increases.

Strike averted at Port McNeill’s only grocery store

Membership voted strongly in favour of the collective agreement, which came days after negotiations.

It looks like the people of Port McNeill won’t have to worry about putting food on the table.

UFCW 1518 union members who work at the town’s only grocery store won’t be going on strike this holiday season.

The union and Port McNeill’s IGA have come to a collective agreement 10 days after union members voted to have striking as an option, which was brought to the negotiation table shortly after.

Patrick Johnson, UFCW 1518 executive assistant, had said via a phone interview that “the members took the strike vote and it went back to the table, the employer heard the concerns and they were able to negotiate stronger wage increases for all the members.”

On Dec. 1, the union members took a vote to have a strike as a negotiation option, which received overwhelming support. Following that vote, UFCW 1518 went back to the negotiation table on Dec. 6-7, which concluded the negotiations after both parties struck a deal.

The union membership voted strongly in favour of a collective agreement, which was signed last Tuesday, Dec. 11.

“At this point, we’ve reached a deal, a four-year collective agreement,” Johnson noted. He also stated that employees who are UFCW 1518 union members will, in fact, get an increase in pay by at least 2 per cent on their current wage for every year of the four-year term.

Table negotiations also extended to ensuring that all employees will get a wage increase in anticipation of B.C.’s minimum wage increase expected next year in June.

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