Crews have removed the Safeway logo from the former Mission store. The store shut down on July 5. Kevin Mills Photo

Safeway union urges rejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Safeway’s B.C. unionized workers are being asked to reject recommendations made by mediator Vince Ready meant to break a negotiations impasse and lead to a new collective agreement.

The recommendations would instead mean wage and other concessions affecting approximately 4,000 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers 1518 who work for Safeway, its president said today.

“If some of our members can’t even afford to shop at Safeway, I don’t know how Sobeys thinks they’d be able to live on less. Our members deserve a living wage, not poverty concessions,” said Ivan Limpright.

The two sides had been negotiating since mid-March following a January announcement by Safeway owner Sobeys that it would close 10 stores while suggesting five could be saved from closure if a new collective agreement was reached.

Ready was brought in in hopes of finding common ground.

Limpwright said Ready’s recommendations would lead to a freeze on re-opening the current agreement between his union and Safeway and then to bargain for a new collective agreement with FreshCo, Sobeys discount banner.

Such a move would result in lower wages and benefits, he added.

The province-wide vote is scheduled for next week.

“We know our members will come out in force and tell Sobeys where to stick those recommendations,” said Limpright.

Sobeys, based in Nova Scotia, purchased Safeway’s BC operations in hopes of adding to its Canadian grocery store presence in the west.

But problems in integrating supply chains and customer complaints about empty shelves have cost Sobeys greatly.

Just Posted

UPDATE: ‘Spontaneous combustion’ likely cause of fire at mushroom composting facility on Lougheed Highway

First responders were at the blaze near the Skawahlook First Nation Tuesday

Approval for AirBnB-style rentals in Kent delayed after public hearing

Staff will be taking the bylaw amendments back for a closer look before final adoption

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Abbotsford council OKs bus-to-SkyTrain plan

Fraser Valley Express would begin running to Lougheed Station by start of 2021

Wildfire threatens weekend campers at Chehalis Lake

The fire started on the north side of Chehalis Lake Saturday

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Plane veers off runway, into ditch at Langley Airport

Fire, ambulance, and police are on scene

Okanagan RCMP bike patrol rolls up on alleged stolen vehicle from Burnaby

The driver, a 30-year-old Kelowna man, has been held in custody and is facing possible charges of possession of stolen property and obstructing a police officer

Most Read