Thousands of UFCW 1518 members at Save-On-Foods across BC voted overwhelmingly YES to ratify their new contract, bringing in many important improvements for thousands of workers.
“Our members have told us that these wage increases are life-changing,” said UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak. “With this new contract, Save-On-Foods members are helping to set a new standard for the grocery industry in British Columbia, bringing thousands of workers closer to a living wage. And these increases are here to stay – they are not temporary through the pandemic.”
The wage increases that the new contract ushers in will put newly hired Save-On-Foods workers far ahead of BC’s minimum wage, with starting rates beginning in June 2021 at $16.20 per hour.
Union members already making the top rate at Save-On-Foods will receive lump-sum payments as high as $2,750 by April 2021 and will receive a wage increase next year before the contract expires in 2023.
The Save-On-Foods Bargaining Committee also negotiated improvements to mobility between stores, more vacation entitlement for long-term members, birth control coverage for staff and their eligible dependents, and increased job security.
Save-On-Foods members can see the full terms of their new contract here.
Member Engagement Leads to Contract Wins
The new contract was negotiated by a Bargaining Committee made up of Save-On-Foods members from various stores across the province and senior UFCW 1518 negotiators. Union members submitted more than 3,500 bargaining proposals through an online portal and engaged with the process through regular town-hall check-ins throughout the negotiations.
“The members really drove this agreement,” said Bargaining Committee member Erica Jones. “We consistently heard that broad wage increases for the lowest-paid Save-On-Foods members were the top priority, so that is what we fought for at the bargaining table.”
Record Voter Turnout as Thousands of Members Vote
Save-On-Foods members ratified the new contract in the highest voter turnout in the union’s history.
“Worker power is growing across North America, and this contract shows that engaged union members can accomplish incredible things,” said Novak. “Workers are standing up and fighting for better working conditions at places like Amazon warehouses, in precarious and gig employment, and in the tech sector, and they know that joining a union can help them accomplish their goals.”
If you are interested in joining a union or speaking to a union organizer, please contact us at ufcw1518.com/join-us.