The union representing 260 RONA employees in this province says it is shocked by both the news of its employees being out of a job right after Christmas and how the parent company chose to deliver the news.
In an emailed statement, Debbie Romero, executive secretary-treasurer for the Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters (ACRC), Millwrights and Allied Workers, said the membership, some of whom have worked for RONA/Lowes — formerly Chester Dawe — for decades and as such deserve better treatment.
"We will be insisting on an urgent meeting with the company and we will demand fair and proper treatment for our members," Romero stated.
"This is a significant economic blow to hundreds of people and to the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador. Our members, the employees of RONA and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador deserve better from Lowes."
The ACRC says it will review the severance letters presented to employees and communicate with its membership regarding the offers.,
According to several media reports, six RONA hardware stores in Newfoundland are set to close early next year.
Staff were reportedly called to a meeting in St. John’s on Sunday night where they were informed of the decision and handed letters of severance.
A source told the Telegram that employees were told the stores are set to close on Jan. 27, 2019.
The specific operations being shuttered include stores in Goulds, Conception Bay South, Bay Roberts, and locations on Topsail Road, O'Leary Ave, and Torbay Road in St. John's. Also closing in the metro region is the regional support centre and a truss plant.
The company is also closing another 25 locations between Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, along with 20 locations in the United States.
RONA is owned by Lowe’s, a U.S. home improvement and hardware store that purchased the Canadian brand in 2016 for over $3 billion.