Laval, February 3rd 2016 – News of Lowe’s, the American home improvement giant, purchasing Rona is raising concerns among workers represented by Teamsters Canada Local Union 1999.
The American company’s previous attempt to takeover Rona in 2012 was met with strong opposition from the former provincial Minister of Finance, Raymond Bachand. The Caisse de dépôt et placement had therefore bought a 14.18% stake in the company.
Rona is a one of Québec’s economic showpieces and its sale to American interests is raising many concerns, even if the US company said in a press release will keep the vast majority of jobs.
“Managers at Lowe’s need to know that we’ll be very vigilant regarding the more than 2,000 Teamster jobs at Rona,” warns the President of Local Union 1999, Serge Bérubé. “A meeting between the Union and the new management team took place this morning and other meetings are planned in the course of the day.”
“Our team is currently doing a lot of fieldwork, answering as many questions from members as possible,” added the union leader. “There is no indication, at this stage, that this transaction will have an impact on Rona’s activities. ”
In 2012, the American company had been accused of having a corporate culture which was incompatible with Rona’s community-based stores, but has the situation really changed?
The answer lies in Lowe’s press release, which indicated that Rona stores will continue to operate under its current brand and that Rona will keep its current head office in Boucherville, Qc.
Rona was sold for 3.2 billion Canadian dollars to Lowe’s. The transaction still needs to be approved by regulatory authorities.
The Teamsters represent 120,000 members in Canada in all trades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations
Cell: 514 609-5101