Crews have removed the Safeway logo from the former Mission store. The store shut down on July 5. Kevin Mills Photo

Safeway union urges rejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Safeway’s B.C. unionized workers are being asked to reject recommendations made by mediator Vince Ready meant to break a negotiations impasse and lead to a new collective agreement.

The recommendations would instead mean wage and other concessions affecting approximately 4,000 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers 1518 who work for Safeway, its president said today.

“If some of our members can’t even afford to shop at Safeway, I don’t know how Sobeys thinks they’d be able to live on less. Our members deserve a living wage, not poverty concessions,” said Ivan Limpright.

The two sides had been negotiating since mid-March following a January announcement by Safeway owner Sobeys that it would close 10 stores while suggesting five could be saved from closure if a new collective agreement was reached.

Ready was brought in in hopes of finding common ground.

Limpwright said Ready’s recommendations would lead to a freeze on re-opening the current agreement between his union and Safeway and then to bargain for a new collective agreement with FreshCo, Sobeys discount banner.

Such a move would result in lower wages and benefits, he added.

The province-wide vote is scheduled for next week.

“We know our members will come out in force and tell Sobeys where to stick those recommendations,” said Limpright.

Sobeys, based in Nova Scotia, purchased Safeway’s BC operations in hopes of adding to its Canadian grocery store presence in the west.

But problems in integrating supply chains and customer complaints about empty shelves have cost Sobeys greatly.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Castlegar residents can now report minor crimes to RCMP online

New reporting tool available for Castlegar, Robson, Ootischenia, Thrums, Deer Park, Glade, Tarrys

Castlegar students set to return to in-person classes next week

Students from different grades will be attending school on different days to mitigate threat of COVID-19

Trial date set in Castlegar RCMP shooting death

Constable Jason Tait has elected a jury trial.

Drive-in theatre proposed for Grand Forks

City councillors will vote next month on whether to permit the use of the private property

RDCK recycling depots to join RecycleBC program

Some depots open, others close, and different materials will be accepted

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read