UFCW 1518 has successfully pushed Sobeys to agree to offer additional voluntary severances to Grid A members in the stores that will continue to operate as Safeway in Kelowna, Kamloops and Vernon. This agreement comes as a result of discussions between the union and company under Section 54 of the BC Labour Relations Code.
Last month, Sobeys announced that six more Safeway stores would be closing and converting to FreshCo in Powell River, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake, Kelowna, Kamloops and Vernon. “We knew that the closure of Safeway stores in smaller communities would cause difficulties for our members, as there would be limited options available for them to transfer to another Safeway store without having to move out of their communities,” said President Kim Novak. “The union worked diligently for more severance offers to be made in the two-store communities in order to create additional spaces for members to transfer into.”
President Novak pointed out that the voluntary severance will be calculated the same as the offers made to Grid A employees in the closure stores that have been announced as FreshCo conversions and will NOT result in any bought hours. She also said that there are a limited number of severances available so it is possible that not every applicant will be successful. “We worked effectively with our sibling local UFCW 247, through this process and I am happy to report their members in these stores will also be receiving severance offers.”
Eligible Grid A members in the stores in Kelowna, Kamloops and Vernon will receive notice by letter from Sobeys of their specific offer today. Added President Novak, “We are still working to reach agreement on mitigating the impact of store closures on members who work in single-store communities – Powell River, 100 Mile House and Williams Lake – and will be following up with members as soon as we have more updates.”