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Pete’s Frootique union and Sobeys negotiate first contract

By Caitlin Snow Oct 30, 2023 | 12:44 PM

Dimitri Karastelev / Unsplash

Higher wages and better benefits are a key focus Monday when the union representing Pete’s Frootique on Dresden Row in Halifax and Sobeys, continue to negotiate a first contract.

The Service Employees International Union Local 2 now represents the workers, after they voted to unionize in May 2022, with the labour board certifying it, in March.

The two sides have already had four meetings since, but today there will be a third party appointed by the government, as a conciliator.

Staff at the fine food’s grocery store, say for the most part, they can’t even afford to shop there with prices continuing to rise and all employees at this location only making minimum wage, now at $15 an hour. The union says that includes those who have over 10 years of service.

A report by The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives calculated a living wage in Halifax for 2023 to be $26.50 an hour.

“Pete’s workers struggle to afford the bare essentials of life,” says Nicholle Savoie, one of the employees. “We have been waiting for a fair contract since we voted to unionize in May 2022; we have waited long enough.”

Pete’s Frootique located in Halifax and Bedford, was sold to grocery giant Sobeys Inc in 2015.