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Sobeys threatens 20 Safeway stores with Quarterly Review

President Ivan Limpright to Sobeys: Enough is enough.

Late yesterday afternoon, Sobeys informed UFCW 1518 that they want to place 20 Safeway stores on Quarterly Review.

The Quarterly Review process was established to improve the performance of stores that are unprofitable and losing significant money. It is intended be a joint dialogue between the union and the company in order to avoid store closures and save jobs.

Union leadership responded swiftly to Sobeys’ announcement: “We are appalled at this attempted assault on the wages and benefits of our members,” states President Ivan Limpright “The Quarterly Review process is not a backdoor to to renegotiate the collective agreement on a store-by-store basis. This looks and feels like an attempt to bully our members just before bargaining is set to re-open.”

Adds Limpright, “We are not opposed to the Quarterly Review process but we will oppose all attempts to abuse it.”

The mismanagement of Safeway stores has been a concern since Sobeys purchased Canada Safeway in 2013, says Limpright. “Our members work hard, day in and day out, to serve their customers. But they can’t overcome the impact of Sobeys’ chronic mismanagement of the Safeway stores. And they shouldn’t be made to pay for Sobeys’ mistakes. It’s not right.”

The stores Sobeys is targeting for quarterly review are:

#182/4963 Powell River #90/4934 English Bay Vancouver
#121/4944 Lougheed Mall Burnaby #33/4907 City Square Vancouver
#92/4935 Strawberry Hills Surrey #138/4949 Blundell Richmond
#1/4900 Surrey Central #89/4933 Sahali Kamloops
#184/4964 Newton Town Centre Surrey #14/4903 Sunshine Hills Delta
#62/4920 Fleetwood Surrey #7/4902 Dilworth Kelowna
#161/4957 Broadmoor Richmond #75/4926 100 Mile House
#20/4904 Sunwood Square Coquitlam #2/4901 West Broadway Vancouver
#70/4924 Trail #36/4908 Robson Vancouver
#84/4931 Collingwood Vancouver #179/4962 Trenant Park Ladner

According to UFCW 1518’s legal counsel, the Quarterly Review language in the Safeway Operations collective agreement cannot be used to undercut members’ rights or subvert the collective bargaining process.

President Limpright promised Sobeys a fight if the company continued down this path: “We don’t view this attempt to trigger the Quarterly Review provisions as lawful and we are going to fight Sobeys every step of the way. It’s clear that Sobeys does not value our members’ contributions and that’s got to stop. Enough is enough.

UFCW 1518 will keep members informed of any new developments via weekly emails and the website, as well as through union representatives visiting stores.

Read the letter Sobeys wrote to UFCW 1518 here.

Read UFCW 247’s response here.

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