Money-losing MEC boosts wages by 6%

Mountain Equipment Co-op, which lost $11.5 million in its 2018-19 fiscal year, will give wage hikes to all employees, with the majority of those increases being up to 6%.

The hikes come thanks to a mediator imposing a first collective agreement between MEC and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1518.

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The agreement, however, included a wage hike for all workers, not just those who are union members, according to the union.

“This isn’t the first time that the union’s advocacy paid off for all MEC staff — not just those who belong to UFCW 1518,” said UFCW 1518 president Kim Novak. “Barely two weeks after workers at the Vancouver flagship location voted to join our union, MEC announced wage increases to all MEC employees across Canada. That’s power.”

Workers at the MEC store on West Broadway in Vancouver voted to unionize in April while workers at a store on Government Street in downtown Victoria voted to unionize in November.

No one at MEC immediately responded to a request for comment.

MEC generated $462 million in sales across 22 stores in its last fiscal year.

For comparison, MEC had sales during 2017-18 at $455 million — a period in which it was operating fewer stores — and posted an $11.7 million profit.

— Glen Korstrom

Glacier Media

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