Unifor solidarity was in full force at the Nestle picket line in Toronto today as Ontario Regional Council executive and members rallied to support the chocolate giant’s workers who have been out on strike since May 5.

“The Ontario Regional Council stands together with members at times when they’re going through a tough strike or lock-out to show our support,” said Balkar Bains, Unifor ORC Secretary-Treasurer, who attended the rally.

“When we say, ‘All for one and one for all,’ it’s not just a verbal message, but being on the ground standing side-by-side with them.”

The 461 Local 252 members at the Toronto Nestle plant, which produces Kit Kat, Aero, and Coffee Crisp chocolate bars, as well as Smarties, work as machine operators, bar packers, shippers and receivers, general labourers, and in Skilled Trades.

Dedicated members packed the sidewalk in front of the plant on Sterling Rd., waving flags, blowing whistles and chanting, in the spirit of fighting for a fair contract. They have been standing strong on the picket line, in rotating shifts, 24/7.

The Ontario Regional Council donated $5,000 to support the striking members.

In May 2001, workers at the Toronto Nestle plant went on strike for 20 days, with the issue of pensions and grow-in rates for new employees as major factors in the dispute.

There have been zero advances in bargaining to this point but the parties are scheduled to return to the bargaining table next week.

Unifor Local 252 President Eamonn Clarke thanked the national union for its support as the strike continues, as well as the members for their hard work and resolve, day in and out.

“It’s important for the company to present a fair offer where they recognize the difficulties workers face nowadays,” he said.

“It’s not just about wages – it’s more than that. It’s about pensions and about their future. I’m proud of our members for not just looking at the short-term, but the long-term, and that’s why these proposals on pensions are so profound.”

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