Loblaw site closure hits 150 truck drivers

by Today's Trucking

CAMBRIDGE, Ont. – Some 150 unionized truck drivers will be out of work soon following a decision by Loblaw to close its transportation site in Cambridge.

The union representing the drivers quickly criticized the move, accusing the company of putting profits over people.

“We have made the difficult decision to close our company-run transportation operation at the Maple Grove location, effective March 7,” Canada’s largest grocer said in a statement emailed to Today’s Trucking on Thursday.

The closure of the Cambridge site will affect about 150 truck drivers. (Photo: Loblaw)

The statement, from Catherine Thomas, senior director of external communication, said the vast majority of Loblaw’s transportation operations are run by third parties.

“And, we believe this makes the most sense for our business and our teams in this case,” it added.

Union angry

UFCW Canada Local 1006A, which represents the drivers, bristled at the suggestion.

“Loblaw’s statement that the closure ‘makes the most sense’ to their business clearly shows, like canceling pandemic pay, they are putting profits over the workers who make them a success,” said Wayne Hanley, president of the union.

“We are disappointed by the company’s surprise announcement which gives little time for our members to adjust to job loss and unemployment.”

– Wayne Hanley, president, UFCW Canada Local 1006A.

He said the union members had worked tirelessly on the frontline during the pandemic to serve their communities, and many had been with the company for decades.

“We are disappointed by the company’s surprise announcement which gives little time for our members to adjust to job loss and unemployment,” Hanley said.

“We will work hard to ensure members get their enhanced severance, pension and benefits as negotiated in their union contract.”

In her statement, Thomas assured that the company will treat the workers with fairness and respect, and offer them enhanced severance and early retirement options.

The work at Cambridge will be outsourced to local trucking companies, she said.

“To be clear, this doesn’t mean there will be less work from this site for local truckers. It means that we will rely on trucking companies to support this work.”

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  • This is just another example of lower truck drivers wages . We need better treatment of both current and truck drivers who got sick or injured.

  • Hands up, anyone who is surprised by this latest move from the Weston evil empire. No, I didn’t think there would be any. No offense to the people who work hard for Loblaw’s, Canada Bread, etc. but all of these parts of the Weston slave ship enthusiastically participate in the race to the bottom so as to continue the enrichment of Canada’s second richest man, Galen Weston. Sadly, anyone who works for any part of their corporate web should expect this type of maneuver. As a former small fleet owner and enthusiastic free enterpriser, I still find this pummeling of the worker discouraging and unnecessary.

  • Why is anyone surprised. These decisions are made by bean counters and the upper level, most of whom could not perform the most important duties to maintain a profitable level.
    Ask upper management if they know any of the Labour force within the company and they would have a blank look.
    Like Donald Trump, these managers would never invite the workers to their homes.
    In these uncertain times, what a way to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  • At one time Unions were a necessary thing and yes, they literally fought for the things that were legislated into law and we take for granted. .
    If you work hard, obey the employer’s rules and stay out of trouble, a union does little for you. If you are lazy and get into trouble, a union protects you so you need one.
    Lately all unions seem to be is a job for life club for the members. Apart from the executive, I don’t think many of the drivers will looking for work as many carriers are actively hiring. There are some big carriers around Cambridge.
    That’s my thoughts, let the slings and arrows fly.

    • Clive, you nailed it.
      Could this be a preemptive move relating to the next carbon tax increase and the effect on the price of groceries in general?
      Any good driver with a relatively clean abstract never has an issue finding work.

    • Agreed, I could probably list off a dozen trucking companies around the Cambridge/Ayr area. and they are all hiring.

  • Galen Weston is a joke he don’t care for nobody but his own family very sad don’t shop at superstores or Loblaw‘s. They treat their employees like crap sad to say did some work for them for about six years it’s all about money profit profit profit like I always say the truck industry should be shutting the country down get what we want that was smart and everybody up. Tk u

  • So, in simple English, Loblaws is replacing union workers with non-union workers to enhance profits. This used to be against the law in Ontario. Cheaper groceries? LMFAO!, higher profits for Weston and stooges …. guaranteed! Say what you want about Walmart but they don’t even stoop this low. Join me in boycotting all the Weston stores … Loblaws, Zehrs, Independent, No frills, Shoppers Drugs and many more.

  • Too bad for the truckers, but I have no feeling for them, there is shortage of jobs inn the trucking system, they will find jobs fast