CRW/Lucerne: More Effective Shop Stewards

April 27, 2022, Calgary, AB ­– Your union bargaining committee remains focused on keeping you updated in the lead-up to our next scheduled dates for negotiations with the company, on May 17-19.

We will be sending you weekly updates on different items of importance that are being negotiated on your behalf. This update will discuss the importance of having time with your shop stewards during discipline meetings with the company.

Sobeys has a history of issuing a lot of disciplines for a lot of reasons. For example, we see frequent disciplines for productivity (missing the company’s set percentages for picking orders) or various other issues ranging from time and attendance (such as lates and no show/no call) to the use of equipment (such as failing to sign out equipment or improper/unsafe use of power equipment).

Your union Bargaining Committee has proposed a new contract language that would allow shop stewards time to speak with you before and after discipline meetings with the company, should the situation arise. This new language would give the steward time to introduce themselves to you, ask you questions, and advise you properly on your rights before a meeting, how to conduct yourself during the meeting, and what the next steps are after the meeting. This time is extremely important! In the past, whenever members got in trouble and faced a discipline meeting, everyone was sent back to work before there was a chance to talk about what had happened. Sobeys has refused to agree to this language so far, but we will keep pushing them in our next round of talks, and we hope they will change their minds.

In the meantime, you should ask the company for time with your steward before and after any discipline meeting. You should also talk to your co-workers and even your supervisors about the importance of having this as part of your new contract.

Please stay tuned for further updates.

Stand strong, stand together!

In solidarity,
Your union bargaining committee

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 401 is Alberta’s largest private-sector union with 32,000 members working in diverse sectors of the Alberta economy, including food processing, retail, education, entertainment, healthcare, and hospitality.