Strike at Highbury Canco comes to an end

Workers emptying tomato wagons at Highbury Canco. October 16, 2015 (Photo by Kevin Black)

Employees at Highbury Canco have reached an agreement with the company, ending a 23-day strike.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175 negotiating committee reached a unanimously recommended settlement on Monday.

The four-year agreement was narrowly ratified by members Tuesday morning, with 52 per cent of those participating accepting the deal.

UFCW Local 175 President Sam Caetano told that just like with any new contract, people are going to have reservations.

“Every time that there’s a labour dispute, and you end up ratifying a deal, there’s always mixed emotions and mixed feelings,” said Caetano.

The 405 employees went on strike on February 13 after a final offer from the employer was shot down. Nearly 100 per cent of workers gave the union a strike mandate in November.

Details of the agreement have not been released, but Caetano said the new pact is a big improvement over the one that expired.

“It is a four-year collective agreement with lots of improvements,” said Caetano. “There are no concessions, and there are improvements in other areas of the collective agreement, not just in wages.”

During the strike, however, the union said its members were looking for competitive wages to maintain their standard of living during a time of high inflation.