Mediation with Sobeys scheduled before reopener bargaining

UFCW 1518 and Sobeys will enter mediation on March 2 with mediator Julie Nichols. Key for the union is obtaining a definition of “profitable year” as outlined in Special Officer Vince Ready’s decision. UFCW 1518 filed a grievance last December regarding 14 Safeway locations across the province it says have become profitable since the Special Officer handed down his decision in 2018. The grievance stems from the union’s review of Sobeys’ financials.

Sobeys will conduct another financial review with union leadership before mediation begins on March 2 with the goal of identifying if there are more stores UFCW 1518 believes to be profitable. In addition to defining a profitable year, the parties have agreed to discuss other outstanding issues during mediation, including:

  • The transition of stores from Appendix B to Appendix A and the return of wages and benefits (including ATO) that have been frozen.
  • A minimum wage spread that the union is seeking due to the fact that the majority of Grid B employees are frozen at minimum wage.
  • The outstanding vendor stocking grievance where the union is arguing for restrictions on the current vendor stocking that is allowed in Appendix B stores.
  • The 2021 reopener and what parameters and provisions can be agreed upon.

Another mediation date has been scheduled for April 29.