The majority of workers at Safeway and FreshCo Pharmacy this week have voted in favour of a historic new contract that will add over 300 full-time jobs, bring needed benefit improvements, and create the highest wage increases at these units in 25 years.
Some key highlights of the new agreement include:
- Access to 300 *NEW* full-time jobs
- Highest top rate wage increases in 25 years with retro pay
- Improved wage scale with NO ONE frozen at minimum wage
- Voluntary severance
- Night work premium of an additional $2/hr on top of wage increases
- No wage cap on Starbucks/Coffee Bar employees
- Significant wage improvements for Pharmacy
- Vacation bridging for many employees to capture up to 7 weeks of vacation
- Increased mobility through postings in stores around the province
The agreement came together after 98% of Sobeys members voted in September to authorize a strike. The company initially offered wage increases as low as less than 1% and demanded several concessions from the workers.
“Workers at Safeway and FreshCo Pharmacy stood up together and demanded better from their employer by delivering a 98% strike vote that empowered our committee to make significant gains for workers at the bargaining table,” said UFCW President Kim Novak. “This agreement is significant because it not only provides the highest wage increases in decades, it offers workers a pathway to more full-time jobs, a much-improved wage scale and more flexibility in what their schedules look like.”
UFCW 1518 will work hard to finalize the agreement over the next several weeks and will send it to Sobeys workers upon completion. The new contract will come into effect this Sunday, October 22. Members who would like to know more about the agreement can reach out to their Shop Stewards and Union Reps for more information.