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Pete’s Frootique employees ready to strike this weekend

By Caitlin Snow Nov 15, 2023 | 12:07 PM

Pete’s Frootique workers in Halifax are getting ready to strike, as workers continue to fight for a fair wage.

Nearly 40 members gathered this Sunday for a three-hour session on how to effectively run a picket line.

A notice to strike is being sent to the Honourable Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration today.

Their Union, SEIU Local 2 said employees get paid $15 an hour and the latest offer from Sobeys, was a 20 cent pay raise, but most would only see 5 cent increase.

There have been no new offers since.

“We are striking and fighting for a fair wage offer,” said Tyson Boyd, an employee with four years of service who currently works in the floral department. “It’s clear to us that Sobey’s is not serious about negotiating; How can you say you want to continue bargaining and at the same time offer workers a nickel?”

According to a recent study, the cost of living in Halifax is $26.50.

Joining the Union

Pete’s Frootique employees voted overwhelmingly to join SEIU Local 2 in May 2022.

They were forced to wait for close to a year for the results of the vote as Sobey’s challenged the rights of several workers to be part of the Union at the Labour Board.

In March 2023, Sobey’s dropped their challenge, recognizing the rights of those workers. A year and a half after the vote to join SEIU and more than six months after the ballots were finally counted, workers continue to wait for a fair offer with decent wages.

A Conciliator determined an impasse on October 30th.

“I hope they’re listening, because we’ve had enough and have waited long enough,” said Nicholle Savoie an employee of 4 and a half years who works in the cheese department. “It’s unfortunate, but it seems going on strike will be the only way to make them listen.”

They will take to the picket lines this Saturday on Dresden Row.