April 8th, 2020, Calgary, AB. Your union bargaining committee met with Company officials for three days last week to continue negotiating better terms and conditions in your union contract. 

Progress has been slow but methodical. We have successfully clarified how overtime shift work is assigned. Once this language is ratified, workers on their regularly scheduled shifts in their posted positions would no longer be bumped by a senior member on overtime. This issue is important to clarify as it has been a long-standing issue.

We also achieved some necessary language regarding sharing information between your union and the Company. Your union needs to know when members leave CRW or the Commissary employment.    

Your employer, Sobeys, is still not agreeing to our proposal that would see a time limit placed on how long discipline stays on your file. They want discipline to remain on your file for as long as they like! When someone receives discipline, the first question they ask the Company and their union is: “How long will this stay on my file?” Company officials are always vague in their responses. Sometimes they tell the worker it will stay on file for a year, sometimes two years, and other times they have no idea and say, “I’m not sure.” 

“What is someone supposed to say to their family if they get in trouble at work?” asked Local 401 Lead Negotiator David Smith. “This kind of uncertainty follows you home in the evening and is waiting for you when you wake. It isn’t fair to be continually stressed out and haunted by past events.” 

Fairness is a clear understanding that your job will be safe after a set time, assuming no further issues. How will your family react if you cannot give a firm response that the employer will clear your record if you are problem-free for a set amount of time? There’s no end in sight to the stress you are all living with. 

This type of time limit is commonly called a “sunset clause.” We need the Company to understand this anxiety and agree to a limit. Punishment should never be punitive and mustn’t hang over your head forever.

Further bargaining dates are scheduled for May 17, 18, and 19, so stay tuned for more updates coming soon! 

In solidarity

Your union bargaining committee