Waiting is the name of the game in the ongoing Section 106 proceedings with Sobeys, owner of 60 Safeway stores across British Columbia. The union submitted its latest set of proposals to Special Officer Vince Ready two weeks ago, after which the employer had an opportunity to respond.
Mr. Ready must then review all of the submissions and sometime following that he will render his decision. “I know how hard this waiting has been on our members and I thank each and every one of them for their patience in this time of uncertainty,” said President Ivan Limpright.
This latest round in the Section 106 proceedings followed a 99% NO vote by Safeway members on the Special Officer’s first set of recommendations, which the union called “alarming.”
President Limpright said he is buoyed by the fortitude and solidarity of Safeway members. “They’re tough and they’re playing the long game, as are we. I want our members to be assured that the union is fighting this battle on all fronts.” He also thanked the bargaining committee, calling their efforts to get a fair deal “tireless.”
Despite allegations from Sobeys that the union has delayed bargaining, UFCW 1518 continues to responsibly challenge the employer’s major concessionary demands.
The union bargaining committee received and has reviewed Sobeys’ position, submitted to Special Officer Vince Ready as part of the Section 106 proceedings. Mr. Ready was appointed as Special Officer by Labour Minister Harry Bains when President Ivan Limpright appealed to the government for help after negotiations for the reopener of the collective agreement stalled last March.
The union will provide a fulsome response to the employer’s position by July 20. After that, Special Officer Ready will review all submissions and advise the parties of next steps. No dates for future meetings have been set as yet.