Bakery drivers in Toronto receive more than $261,000 in back severance

Employees laid off in 2016 without full settlement: UFCW

After more than two years of fighting, United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) Canada, Local 175 members from Silverstein’s Bakery in Toronto, received their severance payments.

On July 29, 2016, Silverstein’s Bakery ceased operations. Members of UFCW, Local 175 employed as drivers at the bakery on McCaul Street were handed permanent layoff notices and their final pay on July 28 by their employer.

This final pay did not include notice or severance pay as set out in the Employment Standards Act (ESA), nor did it include the enhanced severance pay that had been negotiated into the collective agreement. At that time the bakery had been in operation for 98 years, said the union.

The UFCW filed a grievance on behalf of the affected members, said the union.

An arbitrator was appointed to hear the grievance. The decision of the arbitrator was that they did not have jurisdiction to make a decision in this case, and therefore it was referred to the Ontario Labour Relations Board for a determination, said UFCW.

After many months, a second arbitration hearing and a second referral to the OLRB to obtain orders for the payment of severance and termination pay owed under the ESA, said the union.

On Aug. 1, 2018, the OLRB released its decision ordering the Bakery and Holdings Company to pay the severance amounts previously identified. On Aug. 9, the UFCW filed the decision of the OLRB with the Court making the decision. Months of fighting for the monies ensued, said UFCW.

On Feb. 16, the nine former members from Silverstein’s were awarded their long overdue severance payments totaling more than $261,000, said the union.

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