Dear Gas Bar Members,
Our latest round of negotiations took place May 20, 21, 22, 2015 and although we are in the early stages of negotiations, we have had some discussions on some very important issues that you, the members, have been asking us to resolve. We discussed the Kronos system and the need to constantly get exceptions done when no one is present to make the changes when needed, proper work apparel for all climates and sizes, proper scheduling, and Health & Safety.
On the Health and Safety front we’ve come to a stand-still. During negotiations we tabled the survey results that you, the members, raised as concerns when you completed the Union Survey prior to the commencement of negotiations. Enclosed you’ll find the document we gave your Employer as well as our proposal to deal with all Health and Safety issues in your work place.
In previous sets of Union Negotiations, your Employer has always had a Store Manager and someone from Labour Relations at the negotiating table. We have asked, on several occasions, why no one who is able to make decisions for the Gas Bars ever attends. To this date, we have not received an adequate answer. It makes no sense that the people making the everyday decisions are never present, especially for Health and Safety issues! It makes them appear that profit is a priority, not the welfare of their employees.
Your Negotiating Committee and your Union have made Health and Safety a priority at the members’ request. A resounding 96% of you asked that your Union deal with Health and Safety issues. Over the last two sets of negotiations, we have been unsuccessful in making inroads towards getting your Employer to take this more seriously. Working alone is still a big issue, as well as a proper escape route in the event of fire or robbery, only to mention a couple of our main concerns.
In regards to working alone, your Employer’s policy states in very first line: “To help ensure the safety of employees while at work, it is Safeway Operations’ policy that no employee will be scheduled to work alone in any store, supply plant, distribution centre or other facility.” This isn’t what’s happening. We are hearing from you that employees are constantly scheduled to work alone or are left alone for unacceptable periods of time.
Recently, just prior to sending you this update, we had two incidents at one location where an employee was struck by a motor vehicle while performing their duties. This same employee was robbed a couple days later. How can your Employer disregard the Unions position that they should at least try to mitigate these potential risks, if not try to prevent them entirely?
To increase the pressure on your Employer, we started a campaign called “Keep Us Safe!” to make some of these changes happen. What you received here today with this letter is the beginning of this campaign. If we continue to have problems getting your Employer to take us seriously at the Negotiating Table, the campaign will increase. Your Negotiating Committee will need your assistance. The message needs to get across to your Employer in each and every work place – these issues are serious!
As we continue negotiations we will keep you informed and may request your assistance to help bolster our position. Check this website often and watch for future updates. In closing, negotiations will continue August 10, 11, and 12, 2015, as well as August 25, 26, and 27, 2015.
If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your Union Representative.
Your Negotiating Committee
Posted on: June 11,2015