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SEIU Local 2 Members at Pete's Frootique Make Improvements in First Contract

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Jan. 08, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Workers at the Sobeys-owned Pete's Frootique in Halifax have taken important steps in their first collective Agreement.

"We're happy to get our first collective agreement!" said Nicholle Savoie, one of worker leaders. "It was a tough fight ? we were on strike for seven weeks ? we felt it was important to take a stand." Savoie has been at Pete's for over four years and works in the cheese department.

A ratification vote took place on Friday, January 5. It's a three-year deal which expires at the end of 2026. The workers had been on strike since November 18, 2023.

"We're grateful for the incredible support we received from the community," said Nick Piovesan, a produce clerk with nine years of service. "Good jobs are an important issue for everyone."

Important steps were achieved in this first collective agreement, including just cause protection, seniority protections, paid sick days, and more.

"We were all at minimum wage," said Tyson Boyd, a four-year employee in the floral department. "Now we will be seeing yearly wage increases, including one when we return to work and another in April."

In 2024 non-probationary wages are going up ranging from $15.45 to $19.57. Most of the employees who were on strike will be making $15.60 come April and a number will be making $16.15, $16.75 or more.

There were almost 50 employees still on probation during the strike. Now all those workers are deemed to have passed probation and go up a wage level. The settlement also includes a lump sum payment for workers of $100 (part-time) and $250 (full-time).

Significantly, the Agreement also has a provision that protects the relativity of wages closest to minimum wage. If the minimum wage eclipses the probationary rate ? the first three wage levels will see relative increases.

The campaign, which began its public actions in October 2023, garnered national attention and support. Multiple community and worker organizations accompanied the workers in rallies and amplified their voices. High profile individuals like federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, celebrated artists like El Jones, Joel Plaskett, and Kate Beaton all spoke out in support of the workers. Local elected officials like the MLA Gary Burhill and NSNDP leader Claudia Chender lent their voices. Hundreds of supporters also participated in actions across the country, especially in Nova Scotia, to help the workers get a fair contact.

We now have a foot in the door and will be looking to build on what we've accomplished when we're back at the table at the end of 2026," said Boyd. "We're looking forward to getting back to work and seeing our regular customers."

SEIU Local 2 represents 20,000 workers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta. We are proud members of the largest, fastest growing and most dynamic union in North America.

Media Contact: Diego Mendez | 416-476-7762 | [email protected]

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