Newfoundland and Labrador government appoints mediator in ongoing Dominion strike

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The Newfoundland and Labrador government has appointed a mediator in the ongoing labour dispute between the province's striking Dominion grocery workers and Loblaw Companies Ltd., the company they work for.

Minister of Labour Gerry Byrne says he has tapped the former CEO of the provincial Labour Relations Agency, Wayne Fowler, for the job.

Byrne told reporters Monday he'd contacted the president of Unifor, the union representing the striking workers, and the president of Loblaw to inform them of the appointment, and they both accepted his decision.

About 1,400 workers at the province's 11 Dominion grocery stores have been on strike since late August after rejecting a contract offer from Loblaw that included a pay increase of $1 an hour spread out over three years.

In a series of tweets last week, Unifor said talks with Loblaw resumed Thursday and broke off again Friday when the company refused to improve its contract offer.

Byrne said a cooling-off period for both parties may be necessary before they can return to the table but any such decisions are now in Fowler's hands.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2020.

The Canadian Press