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March 3, 2016 – UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema and Executive Assistant Barry Sawyer joined the picket line at Covered Bridge Potato Chips on Tuesday, as Local 1288P members continue to hold strong in their resolve to gain a fair first contract. Undeterred by the frigid temperatures, the picketers warmly welcomed Brothers Meinema and Sawyer and shared their feelings of absolute determination not to be knuckled under by an oppressive employer.
Members of UFCW Canada Local 1288P were forced out on strike on January 5, because over the past two years the company has said “NO” to bargaining a fair first contract that pays a living wage and recognizes basic workplace rights.
“Brothers and sisters, you are the ones who have made Covered Bridge the success it is,” said the national president. “It is shamefully unacceptable that a successful, expanding company that has also received hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money through government grants, so blatantly refuses to respect its workers, its neighbours, and the community.”
“But greed will not win the day here,” said Brother Meinema. “The campaign is going strong and is getting the message out loud and clear that you and your union won’t stand for injustice and neither does the public.”
A leafleting, web, social media, and radio campaign across the Atlantic region has cut into sales of the chips, as a growing number of consumers, retailers, bars, restaurants, and campuses have refused to purchase Covered Bridge Potato Chips until the strike is over. Thousands of letters and emails have also been delivered to the owners of Covered Bridge, supporting the strikers’ call for a fair first contract.
“The company has underestimated your courage,” said Brother Meinema, “and the strength of the people in your corner. We are with you all the way to win this battle and we will.”
Send a message to add your support to the Campaign for Fairness at Covered Bridge Potato Chips by visiting ufcw.ca/coveredbridge.