06/22/2015 09:18 EDT | Updated 06/22/2016 05:59 EDT

Loblaws unionized workers in Ontario reject deal, prepare for strike

Unionized workers at Loblaws Great Food and Superstore are poised to go to the picket lines after voting to reject the framework of a labour deal made between their negotiating committee and the company.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 1000A, which together with other locals represents roughly 28,000 employees of Loblaws Great Food and Superstores, Zehrs, Zehrs Great Food and Superstore, and Fortinos stores across Ontario, said in a statement late Sunday that members voted to reject their deal in a series of ballots cast in the seven days leading up to Sunday.

"The final [vote] percentages will be provided early this week once all segregated ballots have been considered, but the fact the tentative agreement was rejected won't change," the union said, adding that strike preparations are underway after members had previously given their union a strike mandate with 97 per cent in favour.

"As part of the preparations, picket captains have been called upon for training which will be conducted this week," the union said, but adding that a strike is not a fait accompli as union leadership will be "reaching out to the company … to seek a return to the negotiations table."

More to come