Conversion, not closure for Metro

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Tillsonburg’s Metro will be undergoing change.

But it will not be closing, says Metro Inc. spokesperson Marie-Claude Bacon.

“The good news is we’re not closing the store,” Bacon said via telephone, adding she could say little more at the present time.

“Options will be presented to employees over the next few weeks.”

Al McLean, Assistant to the President of Local 175633, with the United Food and Commercial Workers union shared Bacon’s sentiments on the fact the Tillsonburg Metro will remain open.

“The good news is that store is not closing,” he said. “We are pleased with that.”

Metro Inc. announced earlier in August it would be reorganizing operations in Ontario, closing or converting 15 of its 368 supermarkets to cut costs, in response to a fall in quarterly sales. McLean said Tillsonburg’s outlet was the first to be affected in his union. The UFCW represents employees in around 75 stores he said, with the CAW representing workers in around 25.

McLean said a meeting with company and union representatives present took place last week.

“That is the first step,” he said.

McLean indicated his understanding company plans are for a conversion to a ‘Metro Barn’ outlet, a move he prefers to other alternatives, in particular, closure.

“The good news is the company is committed to the town and committed to the employees.”

Change to a Metro Barn would be subtle from a customer’s point of view, said McLean, but does have contractual implications for employees. The current collective agreement includes options for employees including bumping, buying out or buying down, he added.

“We will be having individual meetings with each member in that location to discover what their wishes are.”

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