The union representing RONA workers in this province says its membership was “shocked” by the “insensitive and disrespectful manner” in which they were informed that their jobs were gone.
Workers were informed that the company is closing its local stores as of January 27th.
It’s part of a larger move by LOWE’s to close 31 stores across the country. The company says it plans to close the stores, most of them RONA locations, as part of a plan to focus on its most profitable operations.
They include six in this province, nine in Ontario, nine in Quebec, two in Alberta, and one in British Columbia.
Employees were asked to attend a meeting yesterday evening at 6:00 with company brass for an announcement. The union says it was not informed ahead of time that stores in this province would close.
RONA has 260 unionized staff in this province, along with other non-unionized positions.
Executive Secretary Treasurer with the Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights and Allied Workers, Debbie Romero told Paddy Daly on the VOCM Morning Show that the situation has caught everyone unawares.
She says management from out of province were brought in for a meeting that lasted about 3 minutes. She says it’s “insulting” that workers would be treated in that way.
Romero says employees were presented with severance letters without the union’s knowledge or input.
She’s on her way to Newfoundland and Labrador to meet with management and learn more about why the stores are closing. She says their legal team is reviewing the severance letters and they’re asking members not to sign anything until they have a chance to review everything.
RONA purchased Chester Dawe, a Newfoundland company that had been in business for decades in 2006. In 2016 the American company LOWE’s purchased Quebec-based RONA.
The union representing RONA trades workers says employees were “shocked” both at the news and at the “insensitive and disrespectful manner” in which the news was delivered.
The Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights and Allied Workers says 260 members were called to a meeting and handed severance letters.
ACRC is reviewing those letters, saying this is a significant blow to hundreds of workers, as well as the NL economy.
LOWE’S Statement Expected Later Today
LOWE’s, the parent company of RONA stores in Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to issue a public release today on the planned closure of RONA stores in this province.
The company gathered employees together late yesterday afternoon to deliver the news that the stores will be closing as of January 27th.
A company spokesperson declined comment when contacted by VOCM News on Sunday, but indicated that a news released would be issued today.
She says their first priority was to meet with employees on Sunday.
RONA, a Quebec-based company purchased the old Chester Dawe stores back in 2006. RONA was then purchased by American-based LOWE’s in 2016.
RONA has a number of stores in the province including locations in the Goulds, the old Chester Dawe on Topsail Road in Paradise, and on O’Leary Avenue.