Winnipeg – September 1, 2020 – UFCW Local 832 has won a province-wide policy grievance regarding Loblaws’ decision to remove anti-fatigue mats from Uscan areas – also known as self-checkouts – in its Manitoba stores.
The grievance was heard at an arbitration last fall and a decision was recently submitted by the arbitrator. The union’s grievance was upheld, and the employer was found in violation of UFCW 832’s collective agreement with Loblaws when the company removed the mats from its stores. The arbitrator concluded that anti-fatigue mats are beneficial to the health and safety of workers and provide relief to employees working in Uscan areas.
The arbitrator also noted that both parties recognized these mats were suitable and effective in the collective agreement, and that Loblaws’ extensive use of the mats in stores across Canada confirmed this fact. The union established that the mats were effective, and that it was appropriate and reasonable to use them because of the relief provided to employees.
Union witnesses Vikki Allard, Linda Miller, and Kathy Brnjas testified that the mats provide relief while working in Uscan areas, and their testimonies were key to UFCW 832 winning the arbitration.
The arbitrator determined that by removing anti-fatigue mats from Uscan areas, the employer breached Article 13.06 of UFCW 832’s collective agreement with Loblaws. From the union’s perspective, this decision will make a significant difference in protecting the health and safety of members and will ensure that the rights of Loblaws workers are respected under the collective agreement going forward.
UFCW Canada Local 832 is Manitoba’s largest private sector union, representing over 18,000 members in a wide variety of industries. To learn more about the outstanding work of UFCW 832, visit the Local Union's website.