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Workers at Purdys threaten to strike

The union has issued a 72-hour strike notice.
Lawrence Eade is president of Purdys Chocolatier.

Workers at Vancouver-based retailer Purdys Chocolatier may go on strike at midnight.

Members of the Unifor Local 2000 have already delivered a 72-hour strike notice, and representatives say that the union is negotiating with management.

Purdys sent BIV a statement to confirm that it is in negotiations with its union, and added that it has "no comment while these discussions continue.”

Brian Gibson, president of Local 2000, said in a statement that "Purdys management have shown little interest in finding a fair solution," and that "we're prepared to negotiate until the deadline to get a fair contract and avoid a disruption for customers."

Local 2000 represents more than 200 factory and warehouse workers in Vancouver, according to the union.

Its key demands include better wages and protection for worker seniority.

Purdys Chocolatier has 81 stores across Canada. Its Vancouver operations also include a factory on Kingsway Ave. and a warehouse on Chester St., which supply chocolate for retail stores.

Founder Richard Carmon Purdy started selling homemade chocolates on Robson Street in Vancouver in 1907.

Flavelle's father, Charles Flavelle, bought the business in 1963, along with partner Eric Wilson. He then bought Wilson's stake in the venture, and sold the business to his daughter in 1997.