"This is a profitable company that is trying to increase their bottom line on the backs of workers. It's unacceptable, and we need to help them understand this." — James Clancy, NUPGE National President.
Toronto (29 April 2015) — Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) employed by WHL Management Limited have been on strike for over 18 months and they need your help to reach a fair contract.
The plant is the liquid and packaging division producing dressings, sauces and condiments for the East Asian market under the brand name Wings. It is also the co-packer for other manufacturing enterprises in the speciality food market. WHL Management is the sole manufacturer of Nestle Quick Chocolate Bunny and Strawberry syrups for the entire North American market. The company also produces Coffee Mate liquid coffee whitener, Pizza Pizza's dipping sauce cups, as well as Loblaws' products such as PC Ketchup and small-package condiments.
Employer has been pushing concessions from day one
Despite negotiating two previous collective agreements, the employer approached this round of bargaining with a clear intent to create a labour dispute. On the second day of negotiations, the employer requested a "No Board Report" from the Ontario Ministry of Labour which starts the process of initiating a lockout or strike.
Since then, the employer has contracted the services of Union Buster as a consultant and has terminated a number of known union supporters to try to intimidate the workers. Over the last 18 months, UFCW has had to file unfair labour practice charges against the employer. The Ontario Ministry of Labour has has already found WHL guilty of bargaining in bad faith and has directed the parties to meet to resolve the issues but the employer has refused to meet.
Workers holding strong but you can help
UFCW members have maintained a picket line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since the strike began. Despite tactics by the employer to negotiate directly with workers to cross the picket line and agree to concessions, the workers have remained strong. We need to help them get back to the table to negotiate a fair and equitable collective agreement.
The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) has launched a boycott campaign on WHL Management products to pressure the company to get back to the table.
"We are encouraging our members to send a message to WHL Management by refusing to buy their products," said James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "This is a profitable company that is trying to increase their bottom line on the backs of workers. It's unacceptable, and we need to help them understand this."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE