UFCW 1518 and Sobeys met with Special Officer Vince Ready, who heard arguments regarding the company’s request to negotiate a FreshCo collective agreement. Mr. Ready was appointed by the government to intervene in the dispute between the union and Sobeys, which affects upwards of Safeway 1000 workers.
The parties met on June 1.
“Sobeys believes it has the right to use the new banner language in the Safeway collective agreement to require the union to negotiate a new collective agreement with FreshCo. Failing that, they want to go to final offer selection arbitration,” said President Limpright. “Obviously we disagree with that position.” UFCW 1518 has grieved Sobeys’ reliance on the new banner language provision.
Sobeys is also seeking an order to prevent the public disclosure of any financial and commercial information introduced in the proceedings. “Sobeys doesn’t want our members to know about what’s going on in these hearings. But I believe our members have a right to be fully informed of the evidence,” President Limpright commented. “It is essential that these proceedings are open and transparent. That’s the only way our members and the public can have confidence in the fairness and impartiality of the hearing.”
Mr. Ready has reserved his decision on both issues.