Bargaining committee gets to work; Sobeys cancels first meeting

The union bargaining committee met this week to review members’ proposals for the reopener of the collective agreement with Sobeys, which owns Safeway where more than 4500 UFCW 1518 members work. The committee is composed of nine Safeway members from different regions, job categories, wage grids, and seniority levels, as well as two staff negotiators and President Ivan Limpright.

“Thousands of members submitted their ideas, solutions and proposals during our #Membersfirst bargaining outreach campaign last fall,” said Shari Jensen, who along with Dave Archibald is supporting the committee as staff negotiator.

“We spent the week reading and assessing all of the submissions. Now we’re in the process of refining and writing the proposals that we will present to Sobeys,” Jensen explained. “We have a super sharp team and we’re excited to get to the table. Even though our members didn’t create the many problems that Safeway is facing, they know how to fix them.”

President Limpright said he was disappointed that Sobeys cancelled a meeting scheduled for yesterday to discuss process and dates. “I wrote the company today suggesting further dates. I’m hopeful we can move forward sooner rather than later because that’s what our members expect and that’s what they deserve.” He added, “We can only hope that Sobeys comes to the table willing to listen and learn, because it’s clear from the dramatic decline of Safeway that they don’t understand the grocery business in Western Canada.”

Read President Limpright’s letter to Dave Fearon, Senior VP, Labour & Employee Relations, Sobeys here.