Surrey, B.C. – March 19, 2019 – A grievance filed by UFCW Canada Local 247 regarding head coverings worn by members working at a Loblaw warehouse in Surrey, B.C. has been settled.
The issue began when the Loblaw South Surrey Distribution Centre banned members working in the warehouse from wearing hoodies on the shop floor, despite the fact that since 2009, the warehouse had allowed hoodies and other head coverings to be worn, as long as the hood did not go past the person’s temple and did not obstruct their vision.
The warehouse is a controlled environment facility and union members were accustomed to wearing their hoodies in the wet and cold environment while performing their daily duties.
Workers felt the recent hoodies ban policy was unreasonable and put in place without any meaningful consultation, and the union filed a grievance over the issue. Prior to a scheduled arbitration hearing, company representatives contacted UFCW 247 Secretary-Treasurer Dan Goodman, along with Union Representative Eric Seto and the union’s legal counsel, and a settlement to the policy grievance was reached.
Following UFCW 247’s intervention in the matter, the company agreed to rescind the head coverings ban and reinstate the previous policy, in a major victory for members at the warehouse. The terms of the settlement are as follows:
- Subject to review by the Joint Health & Safety Committee, the company agrees that hoodies (and other head coverings) may be worn provided that the hood does not go past the person’s temple and does not obstruct their vision;
- The union retains the right to grieve the policy if it is changed after the JHSC review and deviates from the policy stipulated in article 1 above;
- Employees caught wearing their hoodies (and other head coverings) in an unsafe manner will be subject to progressive discipline up to and including termination of their employment;
- The union agrees to withdraw the grievance on a without prejudice basis; and
- The union and the company agree that if either party raises safety concerns arising from allowing hoodies (and other head coverings), the matter will be referred to the Joint Health & Safety Committee for further review and potential recommendations.
To read more about the head coverings victory at the Loblaw South Surrey Distribution Centre, click here.
UFCW Canada Local 247 represents over 12,000 members across British Columbia. To learn more about UFCW 247 and its outstanding work, visit the Local Union’s website.