Shawville’s grocery store — a Loblaws franchise — has been on strike for more than a week now. It’s the second grocery strike since we moved here in 2003; the last one lasted four months. From what we’ve heard, this one will go on at least until the new year. The Ottawa Citizen story reports the details we’d previously heard only as rumour and scuttlebutt: the union is asking for 12 percent over four years, and Loblaws is publicly musing about closing the store altogether, as it’s a marginal operation. It must be, if a dollar-an-hour raise is enough to put its viability into question; most of the employees are part-time as well (benefits, you know).
For the time being, we’re shopping in Renfrew, where the selection and prices are better. It’s half an hour away, but a lot of people were already shopping there for those reasons. If more of the store’s customers keep shopping over there after the strike is over — if they don’t come back — that may well be it.