UFCW Local 832

UFCW Local 832

March 11, 2010 20:01 ET

CNIB members in Manitoba set to strike on Monday

Company pushes members to the streets over non-issue.

Attention: Agriculture Editor, City Editor, Food/Beverage Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor WINNIPEG/MANITOBA PRESS RELEASE--(Marketwire - March 11, 2010) - UFCW Local 832 members working at the Winnipeg Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) at 1080 Portage voted down the company's final offer on March 11.

"The membership is outraged that after spending nearly a year at the bargaining table and being understanding on monetary issues that the company would force a reduction in their health and wellness benefits when it has never been a problem" said UFCW Local 832 President Robert Ziegler.

Negotiations started in April 2009 and have been assisted through a government appointed conciliation officer since July 2009 with all the items being agreed upon, including a wage freeze in the first year but the members refuse to budge on CNIB's stance to change its paid sick leave.

"Our members have been very understanding to the financial constraints that CNIB is currently under. They are long standing employees have been with the company for many years. They have agreed to take a wage freeze and a small increase in the second year of the contract. The only outstanding item is the company's stance to reducing its sick time pay, which the company admitted during negotiations hasn't been abused," said Ziegler.

The 19 members working at the CNIB perform various duties assisting people living in the province who have visual impairment.

"The company has taken a hard line on a non-issue and unfortunately they are demonstrating to the people in the province who need these services that they would rather force our members on a picket line instead of helping them," said Ziegler.

Currently, members who have five years of service or more are entitled to 15 weeks of 100 per cent paid sick leave should they need it. The company wants to reduce it to 10 days at 100 per cent then whatever days that member has not used to-date under its "sick time cushion" 100 per cent of a potential 10 days but the remaining time will be at 67 percent. If a member does not use their sick leave it's not carried over or can be cashed out. The company also proposed a reduction to the long term disability from 67 per cent to 60 per cent of their eligible earnings.

There are no plans to continue negotiations as the company stated this was their final offer. The union is willing to meet with the company over the weekend prior to the Monday morning picket, if they are willing to move off this issue.

Contact Information

  • Blake Crothers, Director of Communications, UFCW Local 832
    Primary Phone: 204-480-4930
    Secondary Phone: 204-479-3977
    E-mail: blake.crothers@ufcw832.com