Safeway Cancels Remaining Bargaining Dates

Safeway has contacted us and cancelled bargaining dates on August 2-3.

This move by Safeway is appalling. 

The Bargaining Committee has been negotiating with this employer for six months, and in that time, the Employer’s wage offer continues to be extremely insulting with less than 1% wage increases in some years, and NO wage increases in other years for many employees. Safeway also continues to demand concessions on benefits and refuses to agree to a pathway for meaningful full time jobs in the future. 

We believe that Safeway is now using bargaining delays to put more financial pressure on you. Grocery prices continue to rise, and Safeway continues to report profits off the backs of their workers. 

Workers who have dedicated their careers to this employer through a pandemic, natural disasters and disrespectful customer behaviour deserve better. The majority of workers at Safeway make minimum wage, with an extremely high number reporting they can’t afford to shop in the stores where they work so hard. Our Safeway members have not received meaningful wage increases in 10 years, and Safeway still refuses to negotiate a fair contract. 

So what do we do next? 

On August 1, we will meet with our Bargaining Committee and Advisory Committee to discuss our next steps. We need to be ready to escalate action against Safeway, informing the public about what they are doing, and fighting for a fair deal.

We will keep members informed about the next steps, because we need our Safeway members ready to take action.

Member Spotlight: Yukie Imada

UFCW 1518 Community Health Member Yukie Imada

We’re sharing stories from our latest edition of Update Magazine (Summer 2023), starting with this beautiful op-ed by Community Health Worker Yukie Imada. Look for print copies of Update Magazine in the mail or at your workplace!


Most of the clients I support driving to their homes and delivering care to their doors—are seniors. When I look at them, I see my mom and dad, who are now in their 80’s. When I meet their families, I think of my sister, supporting our mom through her dementia diagnosis.

All three live in Japan, which I left one final time in 2011 to settle in BC. I had two young children, and as a migrant parent, finding steady work that could pay the bills was not easy. In home care, I saw an opportunity anddecided to pursue a job as a Community Health care Worker (CHW) to support my kids. 

But I wasn’t acting on maternal instinct, alone; I was thinking of my own parents, an ocean away in Japan. I thought that if I can’t be there for them in their old age, I want to be there for someone else’s parents. If I can’t be beside my sister, I want to be there for BC’s family caregivers, to alleviate the pressure that they experience. In this last round of bargaining, my ability to keep doing this work for British Columbians was at stake.

To save our jobs and home care we needed a real recruitment and retention plan that would fix our under-resourced and understaffed teams. Financial parity with our counterparts at medical facilities, protections against violence, and provisions for mental health were also a must. 

As of March 1, 2023, we secured a new contract with all these improvements and more. As a CHW this win affects me directly. It means I can afford my bills and that I’ll be less susceptible to burnout. But it also means I can pay it forward and support health care at all levels, which is the true value of quality home care. 

By preventing falls and monitoring medication intake, CHWs protect individuals and help them maintain their independence. We also protect families by ensuring that sick, recovering, disabled or elderly relatives can stay connected with loved ones in the comfort of their own homes. Last but not least, we keep communities strong by ensuring that vulnerable people stay woven into the fabric of their neighborhoods. 

Even though the work that we do is limited to private homes, it affects the public health care system as a whole and, therefore, every British Columbian. For instance, by doing regular house visits and providing mobility exercises, we prevent overcrowding in emergency rooms and continuing-care centres, where facilities staff are severely understaffed and overworked. 

Everything is related. A solid Community Health care system is the foundation for an all-around healthy society. My mom always said everything feeds into each other. You can’t distinguish giving from receiving because they’re related. Just as she cared for me, I do for my community what I would do for her if she required the same level of care as my clients. Similarly, this new contract gives CHWs the support that we need to keep supporting our neighbors. 

Save-On-Foods Bargaining Update July 4

Late last week, we reached a tentative agreement with Save-On-Foods that is being recommended by your committee. You and your coworkers made your priorities going into negotiations clear, and the Bargaining Committee worked hard to amplify your voices and address those key issues. Your Bargaining Committee, made up of Save-On-Foods members from across the province, is very proud of the improvements that they were able to secure. That is why they are recommending a YES Vote on the tentative agreement!

So what comes next? Since late last week, our staff and Committee have been planning out the rollout of the terms of the tentative agreement and the voting timeline. Here is a timeline of what you can expect in the coming days and weeks regarding the tentative agreement and how to vote:

July 10: Advisory Committee and Steward Zoom Calls

We have committed to ensuring our workplace leaders, including the Advisory Committee and Shop Stewards, are informed about the terms of the tentative agreement first. On Monday, July 10, we are holding Zoom calls with the Save-On-Foods Advisory Committee and with Shop Stewards to go over the details of the tentative agreement so that these worksite leaders can support you and answer any questions you may have. If you are a Shop Steward, we will send you an invite to this meeting shortly.

July 11: Members Receive Tentative Agreement Details

We will email out the tentative agreement, including a summary of what was bargained, the morning of July 11 so that all members have time to review it before the Telephone Town Hall at 7 pm. Bargaining Committee members and staff will also be available to answer any questions you have throughout the week.

July 11: All Member Telephone Town Hall Meeting7pm

We are holding a Telephone Town Hall on July 11 from 7–8 pm PDT. All Save-On-Foods members can attend to hear about the deal and ask questions live. Participating in the Town Hall is as easy as answering your phone. If we don’t have your number, check your email for more information. A reminder for this call will go out on July 10. You can also stream the call live and ask your questions online.

July 12–15: Online Voting Period

Online voting will be held from WEDNESDAY, July 12 @ 12 pm PDT to SATURDAY, July 15 @ 12 pm PDT. Your voting credential will be sent to your email address on Wednesday, July 12.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When can I see the details of the tentative agreement? 📎

We know that you are eager to see the improvements to your wages and working conditions that you will be voting on. These documents will be reviewed with your Advisory Committee and Shop Stewards on July 10. The documents will be available on July 11 for all members to review and ask any questions you have.

Who do I contact if I don’t receive Voting Credentials in my inbox? 🗳️

If you don’t get your credentials on Wednesday, July 12 @ 12 pm, please call 1-800-661-3708 or [email protected] with your full name, employee ID, store number, email address, and phone number.

If you don’t have a computer or consistent access to the internet on your phone or at home, the union will request that your store managers make the onsite computer available for voting so that everyone can participate!

I can’t attend the Telephone Town Hall. How do I get my questions answered?

If you have questions about bargaining, the voting process, or this message please email [email protected]. Continue to check your email for updates about the Telephone Town Hall and stay tuned for a detailed summary of the tentative agreement early next week. We will also include those documents on the Save-on-Foods bargaining hub when they are ready.

Again, our Bargaining Committee is strongly recommending this tentative agreement, and we are looking forward to sharing the details with you shortly! Please remember to keep a close eye on your email for all the details as they come out, as well as more voting information. We are doing this vote online to make it as accessible as we can to all members (including those who may be on vacation), and we will have staff monitoring phones and emails to answer any questions you have about the document once it is sent out by email on July 11. Bargaining Committee members and staff will be in as many work locations as we can reach beginning July 11. Please ensure all of your coworkers have their emails up to date so they get the information that they need to vote.

In solidarity,

Kim Novak
President, UFCW 1518