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HARTLAND, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwired - Jan 7, 2016) - Canada's leading voice for workers, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Canada), has launched a national campaign to support the hard-working men and women at Covered Bridge Potato Chips in Hartland, New Brunswick, who were forced out on strike on January 5.
The workers, who are members of UFCW Canada Local 1288P, are braving the strike to secure a fair first contract.
Voting to join the union in December 2013, the Covered Bridge Potato Chips workers have patiently made numerous attempts over the past two years to negotiate a balanced first contract. Despite the union's willingness to negotiate, the company has repeatedly refused to provide a living wage, and to respect basic seniority rights when it comes to scheduling, layoffs and call-backs.
"Covered Bridge is a very successful company that can afford to pay a fair wage and to respect the living needs and contributions of the workers who make it successful," says Mark Dobson, President of the UFCW Canada Eastern Provinces Council. "We are asking the company to return to the bargaining table and end this strike by negotiating a fair and just agreement."
Many of the workers at the potato chip factory make minimum wage, and others have seen only a 10-cent-an-hour wage increase over the past five years.
To support the call for a fair contract, UFCW Canada activists are asking consumers not to buy Covered Bridge Potato Chips until the strike is over. They are sending that message by passing out information leaflets near major Atlantic-region retailers of Covered Bridge Potato Chips, including Sobeys, Atlantic Superstore, Costco, Dollarama and the Great Canadian Dollar Store.
The workers and their families are also calling on consumers, supporters and friends to join the campaign for Fairness at Covered Bridge Potato Chips by sending a letter to the company's CEO.
With the full support of the UFCW Canada National Office - and the union's multi-million dollar strike resource, the National Defence Fund (NDF) - the striking workers are also being supported by a full social media effort and print awareness campaign focused on various public spaces throughout the Maritimes.
Support the campaign for Fairness at Covered Bridge Potato Chips by visiting ufcw.ca/coveredbridge.
Carl Flanagan, National Representative