Stella's employees go on strike due to 'disrespectful' employer: union
Employees took to the picket line on Monday Sept. 21. (Source: Ken Gabel/CTV News)
WINNIPEG -- Employees at Stella’s on Sherbrook voted on Sunday to go on strike, alleging a ‘disrespectful’ employer.
According to a statement from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 832, the union representing the workers, this is not a strike over wages, but rather due to a “complete lack of respect” from the employer.
“We have been in a constant battle with this employer since the Not My Stella’s campaign happened,” union president Jeff Traeger said in the statement.
“A campaign that pointed out the worst of many problems this employer has.”
The union’s bargaining committee has been trying to work out a deal for the Stella’s Sherbrook employees since June. The 39 members had also previously voted in favour of a strike mandate.
The union said the employer has not brought forward any proposals.
“This employer is one of the most disrespectful that UFCW 832 has ever dealt with,” Traeger said.
“The strength and drive of these members continue to impress me.”
The workers will take to a picket line in front of the restaurant on Monday morning at 7 a.m.
A spokesperson for Stella’s said in a statement that talks between their negotiation team and the employees ‘broke down’ on Friday, Sept. 18.
The spokesperson said the timing of the strike is “unfortunate,” because the restaurant has also had to take the first steps in closing down its location at the Winnipeg airport.
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have now shuttered two locations, our Osborne and YWG locations, which has meant the loss of over 50 jobs within the Stella’s family,” the statement said.
The spokesperson said that it would be “disastrous” to accept UFCW’s current proposal, considering the “challenging circumstances” restaurants find themselves in. They noted the proposal would cause economic harm and adversely affect staff, customers and suppliers.
“For the benefit of employees and the community, we hope that everyone can begin to pull in the same direction so that our business survives the current plight we find ourselves in,” they said.
The spokesperson for Stella’s said the restaurant made an offer on Sunday night to avert the strike, but has not received a response.
All Stella’s locations, with the exception of Sherbrook, are open for regular service.