TORONTO — More than 1,500 workers at 12 Zellers locations in Ontario said they have ratified a new, three-year agreement with the chain as their union launches a battle with Target Corp., the company that is buying some of their their stores.
Four of the Zellers stores covered by the collective agreement will be converting to Target, according to United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Local 175, which said it is “challenging Target to abide by all provisions of the new collective agreement.”
Minneapolis-based Target operates as a non-union company in the United States, but last year agreed to buy much of the Zellers chain in Canada, with plans to begin converting the stores to its own banner next year.
“Congratulations to our members at Zellers in achieving a new collective agreement," said UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. "This is a victory for Zellers workers across Canada because it demonstrates that workers can protect their working conditions with a legally binding collective agreement.”
UFCW Canada is a partner in a campaign asking Target to guarantee that Zellers workers will continue to be employed in their stores once the conversions have occurred, and that their working conditions and years of service will be honored by Target. The campaign’s website is targetfairness.ca.
The union said it would file successor rights applications for all Zellers workers who are members of the union.