Brault & Martineau warehouse employees locked out over pension dispute
Published Monday, February 29, 2016 1:24PM EST
When furniture giant Brault & Martineau’s warehouse employees showed up for their evening shift on Sunday night, they found themselves locked out as part of a labour dispute with management.
Oliver Carriere, a representative for the company’s union, said employees and management were at a loggerhead over proposed changes to the pension plan. While the changes would only affect new hires, the workers had voted against the proposal.
“The sad part is, the negotiation went very well,” Carriere. “We had productive discussions, we’ve been able to increase operational flexibility to make sure the company can have more performance. As soon as we touched the pension plan in the monetary discussion, they just said, ‘Well, if you don’t agree, there’s no deal and there’s no more discussion.’”
He added that the union feels the tough tactics have to do with workers at two Brault & Martineau stores unionizing in the last few months.
In a statement, the company confirmed the lockout was due to the pension plan but all stores remain open and distribution is not affected. A spokesperson could not be reached for interviews.