Your bargaining committee wanted to let you know about one of our proposals that will be discussed with the company when we start presenting our financial issues.
When your committee decides what issues to present as significant, important financial considerations, they must use their experience and knowledge of where the grocery warehousing industry is headed in the future.
Many of you know that many warehouses are highly automated. These warehouses use technology such as robotics and computing to make their warehouses more efficient. It saves them money but comes at a high human cost – lost jobs. Automated warehouses use far fewer people to receive, store, and move products. The robots do most of the work.
There is a chance that Sobeys will automate the warehouse and commissary. Sobeys has not confirmed or denied whether or when they will do this, but as history has shown, they will not let your union know this type of information until they are about to do it. If they do this, there will likely be jobs lost.
We must prepare. While your union may not be able to save everyone’s job, we can ensure that the employer follows fair and consistent rules in the case of layoffs. We can also negotiate for better severance so that people receive some money to help them transition to a different career.
We have a proposal that addresses this issue: Significant increases to the severance payouts in cases of closure or changes via a technology that reduces or eliminates jobs.
Your committee wants some feedback from you.
We will be sending a short survey soon to ask you how strongly you feel about increasing the severance package. You’ll get a chance to tell us how important it is and whether it would be a strike issue for you.
Stand strong, stand together.
Your bargaining committee.
Elias Wisdom Kimura,
Majock Anei Ayom,
Kelly Joe Nicholson,
David B. Smith
Posted on: April 20,2022