Dozens of striking workers and supporters gathered outside the Sobeys-owned grocer Pete’s Frootique in Halifax on Sunday as employees called for an improvement to wages and benefits.
Early on Saturday morning, staff officially began their strike, which has since resulted in the store’s location on Dresden Row temporarily closing.
Signs held by striking workers showcasing messages like “Pete’s works because we do” and “I can’t afford to shop here” surrounded a larger banner that read “Pay workers fair wages” outside the retailer’s main entrance.
Terry Armour, a Pete’s employee who works in the store’s produce department, said he and his coworkers “are not going to stand idly by any longer” and accept their current working conditions.
“We’re done with the delay tactics and we’re demanding fair wages for everybody who works here,” he said.
According to a release from SEIU 2, the union representing Pete’s employees, Pete’s Frootique pays staff the provincial minimum wage of $15 per hour. Following the most recent bargaining sessions, it was said that Sobeys, its parent company, offered “a 20 cent per hour raise or less for over 70% of the workers.”
“Most would only see a five-cent increase,” the statement read, noting that a recent study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives concluded that the living wage for two adults working full-time to support two children in Halifax currently sits at $26.50 per hour.
The union said there have been no new offers from the supermarket chain since the company’s most recent proposal on October 30.
Global News contacted Sobeys for a statement but didn’t receive a response in time for publication.
If his coworkers had accepted the offer, Armour said he would’ve seen a smallRead more on globalnews.ca