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UFCW Local 832 calls out major Manitoban grocery stores for not marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a stat

September 16, 2021 – The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 832 is appalled by the decisions of employers at Loblaw and Sobeys to choose not to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30) as a statutory holiday for their roughly 6,000 Manitoban employees.

This new holiday is intended to honour residential school survivors, their stories and their families as well as ensure that the tragic legacy of residential schools is not forgotten. 

“It’s shameful that Loblaw and Sobeys have decided to put profit ahead of the significance of this day for reconciliation,” says UFCW Local 832 President Jeff Traeger. “They are choosing not to be on the right side of history by not allowing their Manitoban employees to use the day to bear witness to the stories of residential school survivors and join the movement towards real change.”

This federal holiday is yet another example of the Conservative provincial government’s inability to move beyond token words into meaningful action. The PC party gave its employees and teachers the day off because of language in the employees’ contracts but has not proclaimed the day into a provincial statutory holiday. Had they done this, all workers in Manitoba, including those in grocery stores, would be able to use this day to reflect on how they can contribute to reconciliation. 

Though not required by contract, Co-ops across Manitoba, including all Red River Co-ops in Winnipeg and nearby areas have granted their employees a statutory holiday on September 30. 

“Red River Co-op is a shining example of an employer stepping up to provide workers with a true way to commemorate our country’s history of unjust and deplorable actions towards Indigenous people and survivors,” adds Traeger. “Their decision demonstrates community leadership and moves beyond acknowledgements and into action.”

UFCW Local 832 represents over 19,000 Manitoban workers in food production, food distribution, warehousing, grocery retail, hospitality, security, personal care and assisted living.

For more information on how Federal and Provincial legislation as well as contract language affects holidays, read our fact sheet.

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Media may contact:
Chris Noto
Communications Coordinator, UFCW Local 832
204-981-2616
chris.noto@ufcw832.com

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