Steel union backing Loeb franchisees in corporate feud

“Their situation is very similar to one steelworkers faced with their corporate giant Dofasco in 1990…

The Sault Star
August 27, 1996

Steel union backing Loeb franchisees in corporate feud
Supermarkets
Elaine Della-Mattia

Steelworkers Local 2251 is unanimously supporting local Loeb store owners in their battle against corporate giant Provigo.

A membership meeting of the steelworkers’ largest union local voted in favor of the motion to support local store owners and vows to help them in any way possible, said 2251 president Bob Richards.

“Their situation is very similar to one steelworkers faced with their corporate giant Dofasco in 1990,” he said in an interview.

“When steelworkers were out on a picket line fighting the giant, Larry and Judy (Cairns, owners of the Pim Street store) were there to help us on a daily basis with pop, food and trying to help us raise money for our drug relief fund for our members who lost coverage.

“They were there and no one asked them to be there. Now we believe they are finding themselves in a similar battle with Provigo and we’ll be there to support them in their fight,” Richards said.

Richards has sent a letter to Pierre Mignault, president and C.E.O. of Provigo, the company that owns and monitors the franchised grocers, offering the union’s support and requesting that Provigo cease its attempt to take over the locally owned and operated stores.

The Cairns and Korah Road Loeb operator Mike Williamson are two of 21 Loeb franchisees in Northern and eastern Ontario who face the possibility of being squeezed out of business by Provigo Inc. and its Loeb Inc. division.

Both say they have been told by Provigo that their franchise agreements will be cancelled on Nov. 2 because of debts they have incurred with the company.

Provigo’s latest move follows a $200 million lawsuit filed by the 21 franchisees against the parent company, claiming they were being saddled with high costs and low retail margins.

In the past month Provigo has taken over operations at 47 of the 111 Loeb franchise stores, replacing the local owners with corporate managers.


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Risks: Lawsuits, group, Grocery, Loeb, Franchisor takes franchisee stores, Termination of franchisee, mass, Gouging on rent and equipment, Gouging on supplies, Unionization, Canada, 19960827 Steel union

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