The Alberta Labour Relations Board has issued a decision regarding the rights of Real Canadian Superstore Supervisors. There’s some not so good news and some very good news.

Local 401 argued that because Real Canadian Superstore Supervisors were no longer managers and had become workers that the Labour Board should sweep them into the union with other Superstore employees. The union also asked for special access to talk to the Supervisors so they can know their rights and escape Loblaw’s brainwashing.

In a decision written by a Labour Board Vice-Chair, who was an appointee of the prior Conservative government, the Labour Relations Board, unfortunately, disagreed.

Instead of focusing on the rights of the hardworking Supervisors themselves, the decision instead focused on a bargaining history going back more than thirty years. But employees who worked there then, do not work there now! Back then Supervisors actually were managers instead of employees with fancy job titles. This is a problem that has evolved and we strongly disagree with much of the Boards analysis. Supervisors were exempt from the union contract because they acted like managers and believed they were managers.

Our union fights for workers and would never abandon them. That’s why we weren’t afraid to lead a strike against Superstore!

Here’s the good news!


But there is some very good news in the decision. The Labour Relations Board has clearly ruled that Superstore Supervisors (except for those at the front end) can unionize!!!

If 40% of Supervisors sign a confidential petition supporting the UFCW and then vote in favour of unionization they’ll be on their way to having their first union contract.

If 65% of Superstore Supervisors apply for membership in the union it’s even less complicated. If that happens Superstore Supervisors will automatically have a union with the almost immediate right to negotiate a new union contract.

UFCW Local 401 sees this as an important victory and so do Supervisors themselves.

Over time, we have watched Supervisors be treated with less and less respect. Before the Labour Board hearings, Superstore Supervisors came to us and said it’s time we have a union. Changing circumstances require a new approach. Part of the Labour Boards decision may be stuck in the past but UFCW Local 401 is not. Fortunately, the Labour Board did acknowledge a future where Superstore Supervisors could unionize. Under pressure from the union even Loblaw’s management conceded that point at the Labour Board hearings.

You should be reminded that Alberta’s NDP has written new laws to protect your right to unionize without fear of punishment in any way. It’s time for Superstore Supervisors to have the respect they deserve through unionization and the negotiation of rights, wages, and benefits that are crafted especially for them.

After this long battle there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel for Superstore’s Supervisors. Existing Superstore union workers will also be happy. It’s almost time to bargain a new Superstore contract. Solidarity with the Supervisors will only strengthen our overall bargaining power!

If you know a Superstore Supervisor have them give us a call confidentially at:

1-877-gounion (468-6466)