MUN students’ union pulling potato chips

Union representing Covered Bridge workers applauding N.L. students’ move

Published on January 21, 2016

Striking workers stand outside the Hartland, N.B. office of Covered Bridge Potato Chips. — UFCW photo

The union representing striking Covered Bridge Potato Chips employees is cheering the Memorial University of Newfoundland Students’ Union (MUNSU) for reportedly halting its business with the company.

According to the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), representing employees with the New Brunswick snack manufacturer, the local students’ union has said it is putting business with the chip company on hold, until ongoing negotiations for Covered Bridge workers are concluded.

The local students’ union is responsible for The Attic, a convenience store on the St. John’s campus where the chips are otherwise sold.

MUNSU is taking the same stance as the United Campus Labour Council at St. Thomas University, which includes the Union of Graduate Student Workers and several other affiliates, the UFCW states.

“The Covered Bridge Potato Chips workers were forced on strike on Jan. 5, 2016, after making repeated attempts — over a two-year period — to negotiate a first contract with the employer.”

About half of the workers at Covered Bridge’s factory in Hartland, N.B. have gone on strike.

"It really means a lot to us to have the support of students and post-secondary staff in New Brunswick, in Newfoundland and we have been very inspired by the growing number of people in the Maritimes and throughout Canada and even the United States, who are joining this important campaign for fairness and vowing not to buy Covered Bridge Potato Chips until the strike is over," UFCW Canada Local 1288P president Dan Smith said in a statement.