Sobeys goes to Labour Board instead of working with members

Flying in the face of UFCW 1518’s extensive efforts to prepare for the reopening of the collective agreement, including conducting its biggest ever bargaining outreach campaign, Sobeys has claimed that UFCW 1518 is not negotiating in good faith.

Only two weeks after the #MembersFirst bargaining conference in late November, where about 200 members, stewards, and activists hammered out priorities for the upcoming negotiations, Sobeys filed a complaint against UFCW 1518 at the BC Labour Relations Board.

The complaint takes issue with UFCW 1518’s commitment to consult with its members before meeting to negotiate changes to the collective agreement. Sobey also takes issue with the union ensuring that the negotiations happen in an open and transparent manner. The company falsely claimed that UFCW 1518 would disclose confidential financial information to its members.

Sobeys is also taking issue with the union’s request to see key information about Sobey’s finances and its planned changes to the business before sitting down to negotiate.  “It seems that Sobeys thinks we should go to the bargaining table unprepared on behalf of our nearly 5,000 members working at Safeway,” said President Ivan Limpright.

President Limpright was surprised and disappointed by Sobeys’ approach, which he said stands in the way of constructive negotiations. “We are working with our members and industry consultants to develop a recovery plan that will benefit our members and improve Sobeys’ business. Unfortunately, Sobeys does not seem to be interested in working with our members or us.”

UFCW 1518 filed its response to the complaint yesterday.