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TORONTO, Sept. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — UFCW Canada Local 1006A is shocked by Loblaw’s decision to not recognize September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, as a statutory holiday for our members. 

The company has repeatedly refused to recognize this important day despite the strong clear language in our union contract that automatically recognizes the addition of new statutory holidays, including those declared at the federal level.

“The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is important for Canadians because of its significance to our country’s history and future, and Loblaw, as a national company, needs to do better,” said President Wayne Hanley. “We urge Loblaw to honour the history and struggles of Indigenous people, honour our members and union contract and recognize this day as a statutory holiday for our members. Loblaw, who wants to be recognized as a leading national employer, is showing their lack of corporate social responsibility. This is shameful.” 

Our members have the right to take this day as a statutory holiday in their union contract and their legal rights should not be violated. We call on all retailers, not just Loblaw, to recognize this holiday and remain closed in recognition of the unique importance and significance of this holiday.

Established recently by the federal government, this new statutory holiday is an important time for all Canadians to remember and reflect on the shameful legacy of residential schools. Canada’s residential school system devastated families and communities, aimed to erase Indigenous people and culture, and unleashed a cycle of pain and destruction that continues to this day. The creation of this holiday fulfilled a recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. This holiday will be observed for the first time this year and UFCW 1006A is calling on the Province of Ontario to make September 30 a Provincial Statutory Holiday for Truth and Reconciliation. 

“If the commitment to Indigenous people is deeply personal as noted on their website, Loblaw should do the right thing and truly help with the process of reconciliation by honouring the union contract and recognizing September 30 as a statutory holiday for our members,” said President Hanley. “After professing to stand up for human rights and diversity, they have repeatedly failed to take action on this important issue.”

UFCW 1006A will be rigorously pursuing the grievance and arbitration process to ensure our members’ rights under the union contract are protected. 

UFCW Canada Local 1006A is one of Ontario’s largest local unions, with 35,000 members working in a variety of sectors and industries, including grocery retail, food processing, transit, restaurant, hotel, hospitality, laundry, warehousing/distribution, and more.

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