Building Power in the Retail Sector

How we got here

Member Engagement

2 Surveys

Members filled out two comprehensive surveys. The surveys sought proposals, tracked demographics, and assessed the financial pressures members face.

3000+ Responses

We received responses from across all Save-On-Foods locations in BC. The respondents spanned grids, years of service, and roles in the store.

Focus Groups

Members had opportunities to join focus groups and share their experiences, highlight issues in their units, and outline their expectations for bargaining.

Retail Conference

More than 200 members from across the retail sector met in November 2022 to learn about bargaining, share feedback, and bring their concerns forward.

What’s at

Save-On-Foods is one of the most recognizable grocery store banners on the West Coast. A privately held company owned by the Jim Pattison Group, it operates successful locations in almost every major community in British Columbia 

In 2023, its BC-based employees—members of UFCW 1518—have entered negotiations with the grocer to renew their contract and hold the business to its core values. Together, these workers are fighting to improve their wages and working conditions and to ensure Save-On-Foods supports the locals who work and shop there. They want to make grocery jobs more fulfilling, live affordably in their communities, and win respect for retail workers. 

Our Priorities

These bargaining priorities are based on the feedback, experiences, and insights of frontline Save-On-Foods workers gathered through surveys, focus groups, and conversations

Wage Increases Across Grids

All members are facing major financial pressures and need strong wage increases to keep up with the costs of living.

Increased Access to Benefits

We’re seeking a more equitable and robust benefits plan so all members can get the help they need, when they need it.

A Shorter Contract Term

A lot changes in 10 years. Members need the ability to improve their contract frequently so they don’t get left behind.

Improving Store Operations

Managerial decisions impact every aspect of frontline jobs. Stores need better hours, training and higher staff levels.

Meet the Team

Winning respect, fairness, and good working conditions at Save-On-Foods will be a team effort. Here are some of the folks leading the charge by amplifying their coworker’s voices at the bargaining table.

Joe Bustin has been with Save-On-Foods for 5 years. In her time with the company, she has worked throughout the store and has proudly served as a Shop Steward. She looks forward to bringing her experiences and voice to the table. 

Jimbo Grant has worked with Save-On-Foods for the past 35 years and has been a Shop Steward for 30. He was on the Bargaining Committee in 2020. Jimbo  is looking forward to this round of bargaining to fight hard for what we all deserve. 

Marylou Fonda is a General Clerk of 19 years. She is an organizer, a Shop Steward, an Indigenous Committee member, an Executive Board member, and she is involved in Political Action. Marylou prides herself on using her voice to speak up and speak out; affecting change in culturally appropriate ways. 

A 35-year cashier, Chris Holowka has been on UFCW 1518’s Executive Board since 2012.  She  serves on the Indigenous Committee and Human Rights Committee. Chris resides in Lheidli T’enneh historical unceded land, also known as Prince George. She has 2 dogs, an 18-year-old cat and a husband. 

Katie Guerin works at 931 Sahali Kamloops Save-On-Foods and has been there for 15 years. She has been a Shop Steward for almost 9 years and was appointed to the Executive Board in 2020. This will be her first time on the Bargaining Committee. She looks forward to learning and representing all Save-On-Foods members at the bargaining table. 

Jaime Emerson, RPhT, is a 20 year Pharmacy Assistant. She has been a Shop Steward & Health & Safety Representative for 5 years, and an appointed Executive Board Member for 2 years, Jaime has represented and fought for SOF members at contract negotiations in 2018 and is looking forward to this round of negotiations.

Erica Jones is a young worker who has been with Save-On in Pitt Meadows since 2015, and is a Shop Steward/OSHA. They are passionate about the labour movement’s ability to pioneer large-scale progressive change. Erica provides a queer (nonbinary, sapphic), neurodivergent, and unapologetically leftist voice at the table.