As you know, we have been negotiating with Sobeys for six months now, with over 38 days of bargaining. Despite our efforts, the union and the employer continue to be very far apart in our positions.
We had expected Sobeys to come to the table in August to finally move closer to a settlement. Instead, they cancelled the scheduled dates, once again delaying progress in reaching a tentative agreement. We are not scheduled to meet again until Wednesday, September 20.
On Tuesday, August 1, we met with our Advisory Committee, made up of Safeway members from stores and pharmacies across BC to provide a full update on what has happened so far in bargaining, including a summary of the employer’s last proposal.
The employer proposal included:
- Unacceptable wage increases of 1% in Year 1, a maximum lump sum of $400 in Year 2, and less than 1% in Years 3–5 of the contract for employees at the top rate
- A wage scale that does NOT recognize members who have been frozen at minimum wage for years, and keeps members frozen when the minimum wage goes up
- No pathway for meaningful full-time jobs or access to hours
- Cuts to benefit contributions, unlimited vendor stocking, and more exclusions
Our Advisory Committee were clear on the next steps: it is time to mobilize the membership, educate them about what the employer is doing at the bargaining table, and prepare to fight for a contract that lifts everyone up.
What are we fighting for in this round of bargaining?
- Wage increases for all employees
- Stop freezing workers at minimum wage
- Access to hours and full-time jobs
- RESPECT for the hard work Safeway members do every day
To be prepared for the September bargaining dates, we need the membership to be well-informed. That is why Bargaining Committee members, Union Reps, and UFCW 1518 leadership will be in stores in the coming weeks, talking to members on all shifts.
As we head into bargaining again in September, we need members to stand together in support of fighting for a fair contract for ALL Sobeys employees. We will need to be ready to escalate our actions, including actively participating in public awareness campaigns and demonstrations and being ready to vote yes in a strike vote.
President, UFCW 1518