Bargaining Update for UFCW 1518 Safeway Members

What’s the Latest on Safeway bargaining?

For over eight months, UFCW 1518 has been in bargaining with Sobeys.

They purchased Safeway stores nine years ago. So while you see Safeway signs on the store, that is not the company we bargain with.

When Sobeys first purchased Safeway stores, our members shared that they felt hope and excitement about a better future now that they would work for a Canadian-based company.

It wasn’t long before that hope turned into utter disappointment. The sentiment among employees today is the worst we have heard in 10 years, worse than the challenges our members faced even at the peak of the pandemic.

Our members have told us that they’re angry and frustrated. And more than anything, they feel deeply disrespected by the corporation they work for—Sobeys. And rightfully so. They should be furious.

This is a national corporation that has made record profits and has been called out for profiteering in the grocery industry and one that refuses to pay fair wages to employees that they rely on every day at the stores they operate.

  • We are fighting to UNFREEZE workers from minimum wage. It takes over 8 years to get an increase above minimum wage at Safeway—this is UNACCEPTABLE.
  • We are fighting for WAGE INCREASES. Prices of groceries keep going up, but wages are not. All workers at Safeway deserve increases for the hard work that they do.
  • We are fighting for FULL-time jobs. Even employees with 20 years of service are waiting for their chance to be full-time.

What have we seen Sobeys (Safeway) do?

Offer less than 1% annual wage increases.

Cut hours in stores.

Cancel bargaining dates.

So what are we doing now?

Our bargaining committee, staff reps, and leadership have been in stores talking with members. We are very pleased to hear that members are telling us loud and clear they are ready to stand together to support their bargaining committee for a fair contract.

What comes next?

We are committed to bargaining with Sobeys at our upcoming dates—with the goal of reaching an agreement we can bring back to our members to vote. BUT we also recognize that in the over 36 days of bargaining, they have barely moved on their wage offer and escalation may be necessary to fight for a fair deal. And that is why we are reconvening on Tuesday, August 29, with the Advisory Committee to have this very discussion about what comes next!

Do we have dates to resume talks?

Yes, after Sobeys cancelled dates in August, we have confirmed that discussions will resume for several days starting on Wednesday, September 20. That is why we are meeting with the Advisory Committee and have had folks in stores every week to build momentum, awareness, and support so we are stronger than ever when we are back at the table!