Just an update because the radio stations and the Star Phoenix seem to be intent on skimming over the real headline that should be disseminated to the members of the Co-op, as well as the public.
The Union invited Grant Wicks to participate in the process of binding arbitration on December 5, 2018. Briefly, binding arbitration is a process wherein the union and the Co-op would present their positions to an independent impartial arbitrator, who would then deliver to the parties a decision that the parties would agree to be governed by. Neither party would have an advantage, and therefore it’s a fair and reasonable alternative for the parties to come to resolution.
Grant Wicks advised the union on December 7, that they were unwilling to participate. His reasoning?: “I have confidence in my committee to arrive at a settlement through the collective bargaining process”.
The Union replied to Grant Wicks correspondence, asking him to reconsider. Yesterday, we once again extended the invitation because we have not heard back since our correspondence last Friday. The union now has the understanding that Grant Wicks did not even tell the Board of Directors, even though the Board has indicated they represent the interests of all the Co-op members/owners.
Because the parties have now been bargaining for over two years without resolution.... Because the Co-op is losing revenues every day.... Because there are hundreds of employees walking the picket line.... we have asked Grant Wicks to make the responsible decision of putting our request in front of the Board of Directors.
We have also asked Grant Wicks to provide his reasoning if he refuses to ask for the Board input, as well as his reasoning if he refuses to participate in a binding arbitration process. Grant Wicks has stated many times in the media that all he wants is a fair and reasonable settlement. This refusal appears to be conduct completely opposite of what he has been saying to the public.
Today he stated on CBC Radio that binding arbitration is a “lengthy and convoluted process”. I think what he really means is that the process would be simple and short if the Co-op just rams their offer down our throat. He did very well not substantively answering the questions this morning on CBC. The questions our membership are asking need to be answered:
-Why propose a second tier that doesn’t save the money you think it does and has little to do with long term sustainability? -In the spirit of sustainability, how “competitive” are the manager’s salaries? -What does the CEO make and why did the Management Services Agreement increase $37,000 in the last two years, while they want employees’ wages to decrease? -What is the actual involvement of FCL in determining the future of Saskatoon Co-op? -Does the Saskatoon Co-op pay FCL substantially more for their “goods” than competitors pay for their “goods”? Is that why “cost of goods” are so high for the Saskatoon Co-op? -Where does all the money is really go?
These are serious issues on the table and many lives are being gravely affected. The union is looking for management to take this seriously, act responsibly and finally comply with their duty to the members and owners of the Saskatoon Co-op. ...
I refuse to shop at Coop gas and grocery store until this is resolved .... This is getting ridiculous, that there is no resolve yet.... this doesn’t have to be complicated!!! So people out there need to support the average Joe or Josephine’s fighting for your children and grandchildren that may need a good local job with fair benefits someday! So my plea is for all of us to support your hard working neighbors, friends and family members. Hang in there CO-OP strikers! I don’t mind the inconvenience to support you all!
I refuse to go to any Coop til this strike is over. I feel bad for the employees when I hear of others including their own crossing the picket line. Shame on them !!!!
Well said. We do need the questions answered well. The interview this morning was fluff, not hard journalism. However that is most of what happens on Saskatoon Morning.
This is because it is really FCL controlling everything Every Coop does even if they say different . Coop’s do not make the decisions for themselves FCL greedy to hell with the workers is their motto . General managers are FCL puppets because they dole out the money for expansions and such they control all aspects of each coop
On December 11, Lucia Flack Figeuiredo filed a written complaint with the Registrar of Private Investigators and Security Guards. She described many instances, as relayed to her by picketers, of inappropriate conduct of the security guards on the Saskatoon Co-op picketing sites. In addition, she has described many instances of contravention of the Act.
She has asked the Registrar to look into these complaints and commence and investigation into the conduct of the security guards pursuant to s. 17 of the Act. The Deputy Registrar has indicated she would review the complaint as soon as possible.
Lucia has stated she believes grounds for the request exist as follows:
THAT the security guard conduct shows that they “cannot reasonably be expected to be responsible”; THAT reasonable grounds exist to believe that the security guards “will not conduct themselves, nor operate their business with integrity”; THAT the security guards will continue to contravene s. 26(3) of the Act by not producing their licenses for inspection; THAT allowing this conduct unchecked will be “prejudicial to the public interest”; and THAT without an investigation, there is a likelihood that “the reputation of Saskatchewan Justice will be brought into disrepute”.
Our hope is with official intervention, the security guards will govern themselves accordingly and their conduct will be commensurate with their positions. ...
Good for you for doing this.
It’s your right to strike!
Very disappointed with Co op who claims to be a local business yet is forcing its local workers to strike.
Haven’t shopped at co op since strike began. And I am in Regina.
Shame on them
Our membership, the Co-op members, as well as the general public should now be aware that the Union contacted Grant Wicks last Wednesday and invited the employer to participate in binding arbitration to resolve this dispute. Grant Wicks has repeatedly stated in the media that they are simply looking for a fair and reasonable resolution. What could be more fair than the parties presenting their proposals and rationale to an independent impartial tribunal?
But Grant Wicks responded on Friday that they are unwilling to agree to this proposed path to resolution. His reason? “.......I have confidence in our committee to come to a fair agreement through the collective bargaining process.....” Over two years of bargaining with no resolution. “Mr. Wicks, we do NOT have the same confidence in your committee as you do.”
We do not know who made this decision. Whether its Grant Wicks, the employer committee or the Board of Directors who have made this decision..............the membership, the Co-op members and members of the public demand that the CEO start acting responsibly and request agreement to a process that would allow an arbitrator to make a decision binding upon the parties. The Union has no hesitation presenting its position to an independent party. Why is the Co-op unwilling to do the same?
The Union has asked Grant Wicks to reconsider his unwillingness to agree to binding arbitration. If he is serious about wanting a fair resolution, we would expect him to change his position and act responsibly. If not, at the very least tell the public why not.
The release today regarding a vote on an expired offer is simple distraction. The Co-op fails to mention that they are not exercising their right to force a vote. They fail to mention that they never did respond to the Union’s offer. They just want to use the fact that Christmas is right around the corner to pretend that their offer was different.
The real issue is why the Co-op refuses to agree to enter in binding arbitration, a fair and reasonable method to reach resolution. ...
I hope enough people are disgusted with Grant Wicks to show up for the next membership meeting that allows a vote on replacing him.
These co-op workers are fighting for fair wages, equal pay for equal work. I support them. the board should do the right thing and instruct management to bargain in good faith, take the two tier wage proposal off the table, give the workers a fair wage and get them back to work.
Time for a complete change of the board and the "CEO" GW.
The members and employees deserve some answers.
Money talks when they are abusing membership dollars.
Not taking calls from members on concerns.
Not agreeing to anything on bargaining.
No further bargaining dates made , but yet they are "open" to bargaining
2 years no contract and still no change.
Who's NOT Bargaining in good faith !
Because it is Federated pulling the strings, been there, done that!!!!
Oh I could say lots but I won’t!!!