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Why?

When your Save-On-Foods coworkers – cashiers, stockroom staff, bakers, butchers and more – joined UFCW 1518, the employer made sure you were excluded from the union. We don’t think that’s right. A truly fair workplace can only be won when everyone has a voice and the power to push for more.

As delivery drivers, you’ve kept some of the most vulnerable communities fed during the pandemic. As security personnel, you shoulder one of the toughest jobs – enforcing COVID-restrictions. With union protection, you can push for the pay, health & safety standards and staffing levels you deserve. You have a say in how your work is done, and you can have respect and dignity along the way.

Your Rights

The most important thing to know is that every British Columbian has the right to join a union.

The Canada Labour Relations Code ensures you have the following legal rights:

You are free to decide to join or not join a union.

Your employer cannot fire you, suspend you, transfer you, lay you off, refuse to continue employing you, or otherwise discriminate against you for being involved with the process of forming a union.

You are free to express your views on unionization without reprisal.

Unionized Workers

You know when you will get a raise and how much it will be.

Non-Unionized Workers

Raises are not predictable or guaranteed.

Unionized Workers

You have a legal contract that protects your wages, benefits and working conditions.

Non-Unionized Workers

Your employer can make changes to wages, benefits or working conditions without your consent or input.

Unionized Workers

You can raise workplace concerns without fear for job security.

Non-Unionized Workers

Speaking up can have consequences.

Unionized Workers

You and your co-workers have a say about your contract.

Non-Unionized Workers

Management calls all the shots and makes all decisions.

Unionized Workers

You have the support of professional advocates and legal counsel.

Non-Unionized Workers

You must plead your own case.

Unionized Workers

You have fairness and respect at work.

Non-Unionized Workers

Respect depends on if you have a good manager.

Unionized Workers

You have security through a formal process to dispute unjust or arbitrary discipline.

Non-Unionized Workers

You can be unfairly disciplined or fired, for any reason, at any time.

How do I unionize?

  1. Sign confidential cards saying you want the Labour Relations Board to issue a vote to unionize. Your boss will never know if you signed or not, and even if they did find out, they cannot legally punish you for signing.
  2. When the vote is held, you will submit a secret ballot. Vote “yes” to unionize.
  3. You and your co-workers submit proposals as to what should be the new collective agreement in your workplace. Your new contract will spell out wages, benefits, respect, job security, and more. It’s up to you what you want to prioritize!

FAQ

Who is UFCW 1518?

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1518 is British Columbia’s largest private-sector union with more than 26,000 members in British Columbia and the Yukon. UFCW 1518 represents over 5000 Save-On-Foods workers at all stores, so if you join us, you will already have tons of support from seasoned members across the province.

What positive changes can a union make to my job?

You will decide with your coworkers what changes your union will push for. Here are some of the common improvements we bargain for:

  1. Enforceable Employment Contact – All unionized workplaces have a mutually agreed upon employment contract known as a collective agreement. This collective agreement will secure your current wages, benefits and working conditions.
  2. Improved Job Security – A union will take away your employer’s ability to terminate you without cause. You’ll also gain a grievance procedure that will assists you in solving workplace issues.
  3. Professional advocacy and support – With a union, workers are not left alone with management to deal with their problems. Union members have access to union representatives, labour lawyers, and Workers Compensation lawyers, as well as any other consult your union determines, is needed.
  4. Better Wages – A union will negotiate a fair wage scale that provides workers with regular pre-approved wage increases! No need to ask for a raise anymore, they are guaranteed.
  5. Fair, respectful treatment – All workers are entitled to a harassment-free workplace. Coming together to form a union will give you and your co-workers the power of being able to change your working environment and make your jobs better: for you and those who come after you. We are stronger together!

I am happy with the way things are now. Why do I need a union?

Securing what you have today into a legally binding contract ensures that what you like about your job stays that way even if there is a change of management and even ownership. Belonging to a union also creates a support network: Stewards, union representatives, negotiators and lawyers will be there to ensure your fair treatment at work.

Will unionizing ruin the relationship between employees and upper management?

Workers are not doing anything wrong by unionizing. If your managers respect employees and their rights, then they should have no objection against workers making the democratic decision to join together to form a union. In fact, unions emphasize the importance of a good management-workers relationship. It is not the purpose of a union to get in the way of your relationship with management. Rather, when there is a problem at work. we will be ready to step in when requested by a worker. At the bargaining table, a union will also provide you and your co-workers with the ability to negotiate collectively for improvements with your employer – for the first time as equal parties.

I am applying/planning to apply for Permanent Residency. Will having a union affect my ability to do that?

No, unionizing does not impact your application to permanent residency in any way. In fact, unionizing provides you with job security and, in some cases, UFCW has been able to bargain a path to permanent residency in some union contracts (click here to learn more about one of those stories). The union will support any worker, regardless of status.

What if the company has learned their lesson, apologized, and said they will fix the issues?

Companies can promise to “change” or “do better” and offer quick fixes to long-standing problems, but things often revert back to how they once were. In reality, without a legally binding contract, any improvements can be taken away.
And let’s be honest – Many grocery stores have been coming under fire lately for failing to acknowledge their staff’s hard work and failing to enforce COVID restrictions, and even the bad press hasn’t made them budge. Worker action could though!

How do I join UFCW 1518?

Every British Columbian has the right to join a union. The unionizing process is designed by the government to be 100% confidential. Here’s what you need to do to join UFCW 1518:

  1. Connect with Us Confidentially
    Use our contact form or call us at 1-888-581-1518.
    We will get back to you as soon as possible to answer your questions about joining a union.
    Know that once you start the process of unionizing, your job is protected by the BC Labour Relations Board.
  2. Union Support Cards
    Working with staff from our union, you and the majority of your co-workers (45%) sign a support card indicating you would like the BC Labour Relations Board to hold a unionization vote at your workplace.This process is confidential. Your employer will never have the right to know who did or did not sign. Your employer cannot legally take action against anyone for signing a card.
  3. Secret Ballot Vote
    When a majority of your co-workers have signed a union card, the BC Labour Relations Board will hold a secret ballot vote to form a union at your workplace.
    Vote “Yes” to join the union!

Can I get fired for supporting a union?

No, that is illegal. No one, including those holding management roles, can be terminated or harassed for supporting a union. However, in the unlikely event that a supporter is terminated because of their support for joining UFCW 1518, we will hire a lawyer to represent supporters at no cost to them. UFCW 1518 will not tolerate any employer violating workers’ rights and will take legal action if needed.

How much does this cost?

There is no cost to join until you vote in your first collective agreement. Once that happens, your dues will be no more than 2% of your earnings. Since unions are non-profit organizations, your dues are 100% tax deductible. The higher wages, rights and benefits that come with unionization are well worth the small cost associated with joining!