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Bargaining Updates

Arbitration Hearing Held Today – Defining Profitable Year

Today, Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Johnson, UFCW 1518 Executive Board and Safeway member Bob Milan, and President Kim Novak attended a meeting with Arbitrator Mark Brown and representatives from Sobeys.

This arbitration meeting was an important next step after mediation meetings between UFCW 1518 and Sobeys stalled in May around the definition of “maintain profitable year” as it pertains to Sobeys locations on Appendix B.

In May, UFCW 1518 and senior accountants from PWC reviewed financial statements from Sobeys. Based on the review of these financial documents, the union believes that many of these stores are making money and maintained a profitable year.

At today’s hearing, UFCW 1518’s legal counsel Chris Buchanan presented the union’s case. In summary, the union argued that if a store under Appendix B has made any money over a rolling 12 months, it has met the requirement of “maintaining a profitable year” and should be moved to Appendix A. Additionally, the union is seeking retroactivity for members’ wages and benefits back to the date the Appendix B stores are determined to have met the test of maintaining a profitable year.

Legal counsel for Sobeys argued that for an Appendix B store to meet the “profitability test” it must be profitable every month for a full year and it must exceed an unstated level of profitability.

Once Arbitrator Brown issues a decision on the definition of a profitable year, the parties will need to reconvene with Arbitrator Brown to review detailed financial information for all Appendix B stores. This will determine which stores meet the definition of a profitable year to move off of Appendix B – which for UFCW 1518 members means the reinstatement of wages, ATOs, and more.

The union is in the process of booking additional dates with Arbitrator Brown. Members who would like more information about the arbitration process can contact UFCW 1518 at reception@ufcw1518.com

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