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

Second dump site of Dungeness crab discovered

DFO confident new site related to April 2 dump of 250 more crab

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

Life experience key to NDP nomination hopeful

Amanda Ramsay is one of four in the running

Northwest local governments team up to fill in future employment gaps

Around 17,000 jobs will need to be filled in the region over the next eight years

Deadly logjam still poses a threat to boaters, anglers

“It’s no fun pulling bodies out of the river.” - Manny Arruda

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Isn’t it spring? Forecast calling for snow across eastern B.C.

Up to 10cm expected within 48 hours; motorists urged to prepare for deteriorating conditions

B.C. parents still missing out on hundreds of thousands in free money

Chilliwack financial advisor still banging the drum over unclaimed $1,200 RESP grant cash

Be wary of robot emotions; ‘simulated love is never love’

Research has shown that people have a tendency to project human traits onto robots

One million recyclable bottles ‘lost’ daily in B.C., foundation says

387 million beverage containers didn’t make it back into the province’s regulated deposit refund system in 2017

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Most Read