UFCW 1518 applauds LRB decision on bakers

Bakers organized by BCTGM 468 have won their bid for jurisdiction at Safeway Extra. The BC Labour Relations Board found in favour of the bakers’ union, ruling that parent company Sobeys had ignored its certification and breached their collective agreement.

According to BCTGM 468, Sobeys denied them representational rights at its Langley store, one of several Safeway stores the company has renovated and reopened under the Safeway Extra banner. The LRB ruled that because the nature of production work had not changed from Safeway stores, the bakers’ union would continue to have jurisdiction. The Board further denied Sobeys’ application to consolidate the bakers with UFCW 1518, on the grounds that it failed to demonstrate any industrial instability to warrant such a move.

“I am proud to stand in solidarity with the baker’s union,” says Kim Novak, Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW 1518. “We are in full support of the decision, which is a win for BCTGM 468 as well as an opportunity for our members.”

BCTGM 468 does not have new banner language in their contract with Safeway. New banner language ensures that any stores opened by the company under a new banner will be unionized. The LRB’s ruling is significant because it means that members of BCTGM 468 working at Safeway Extra to will continue to be under the master Safeway collective agreement.

“This win by the bakers’ union provides an excellent opportunity to fight back against Sobeys’ ongoing efforts to degrade our members’ quality of life at work,” adds Novak. “We believe that Sobeys has underestimated our members’ solidarity and determination in returning all Safeway Extras to the full terms of the Safeway master agreement. This decision by the LRB continues the momentum towards that goal that started months ago when our members became energized with the Fight Back campaign. ”

With contract negotiations set to reopen in the coming months, Novak has committed that the issue of restoring the Safeway master agreement to all stores will be brought to the bargaining table.