Safeway Bargaining

Bargaining Updates


For your convenience, here are the bargaining proposals as tabled by the parties in March 2019:



Here is a listing of information and updates we’ve shared with Safeway union members related to negotiations with Sobeys.

2020-04-18“Nice Words Just Don’t Cut It”
With COVID-19 in the foreground, now in mediation, we are working through related issues as well as moving towards monetary discussions.

2020-02-28Moving to Monetary Soon
Our bargaining committee is firm in our resolve to get a fair agreement for Safeway employees across the province. We aren’t going to let “mystery shoppers” deter us from that focus. We expect that we will be getting into the monetary portion of negotiations very soon.

Safeway Bargaining Update – February 28, 2020

Check out our latest update from the Safeway bargaining table in Calgary this week. Good progress and then a curve ball from the company. Still, we're upping our Good Groceries message for all Alberta grocery workers. Our committee is staying strong!

Posted by UFCW Local 401 on Friday, February 28, 2020

2020-01-17Scheduling Issues on the Table
We had a big week of bargaining in Edmonton this week, discussing issues like scheduling and hours of work. Check out our short video update here:

Safeway Bargaining Update for January 17, 2020

What a week at Safeway bargaining this week. Check out this short update from your UFCW Local 401 Safeway bargaining committee, and check your emails for more.#UFCW #401solidarity

Posted by UFCW Local 401 on Saturday, January 18, 2020

2019-12-16 – Member Action and Strong Leadership Get the Goods
Member action and strong leadership in advance of bargaining get the goods. Check out a brief bargaining update here

Safeway Bargaining Update for December 13, 2019

Safeway members! Check out our latest update on negotiations with Sobeys this week…

Posted by UFCW Local 401 on Friday, December 13, 2019

2019-12-08 – Standing Strong for Good Grocery Stores
We stand strong with our friends and allies defending Good Groceries and good grocery stores in Alberta. Check out our live Facebook feed here:

We’re live at North Hill Safeway taking a stand for #GoodGroceries and good union grocery jobs! #UFCW #401solidarity

Posted by UFCW Local 401 on Sunday, December 8, 2019

2019-11-07 – It’s Time to Prepare
Though bargaining for a new union contract continued this week in Edmonton, strike action seems likely at Alberta Safeway stores.

2019-10-10Strike Benefit Assessment Survey
We advise and prepare Safeway members for the real possibility of a strike with Sobeys. We ask for an assessment of their needs.

2019-09-26Retail Strikes: Ups and Downs in 2019
We survey the recent experience in North America where workers have taken on their employers and struck. Different contexts have different results.

2019-09-10Leaflet – Is Good Going Bad?
We share our leaflet encouraging an honest assessment of what Sobeys wants to do to Safeway – based on their own bargaining proposals!

2019-08-23 “There will be no Compromise”: Store Safety on the Agenda
We report from the bargaining table on our efforts to have Sobeys take a more employee-centred approach to store safety and customer abuse situations.

2019-07-24Union Brings Legal Action Against Sobeys
Union lawyers have filed “charges” of unfair labour practices against Sobeys.

2019-07-17Sobeys “Talks”… But they don’t listen
We address Sobeys’ “Safeway ‘Talks'” communications with employees and some of the things the company isn’t saying about on-going contract negotiations.

2019-06-21Sobeys Pushes FreshCo
Sobeys fails to persuade us that FreshCo will solve the company’s woes in Alberta, presenting a selfish perspective that goes against all we’ve been saying a good grocery store can be.

2019-06-07Feeding Family Bonds? 
We deconstruct what it means to be “Canada’s Family Grocery Store” while employees face takeaways and the company launches a new major promotion of its Sobeys brand.

2019-05-24Safeway Southland Crossing Closure
In the wake of another store closure in Calgary, we push for job security for Alberta Safeway employees and the disclosure of Sobeys’ plans for Alberta Safeway stores.

2019-05-03 – We Won’t Tolerate a Selfish Sobeys
Initial signs of progress and momentum at the bargaining table have tended to sputter. While talks haven’t stalled out, we need the company to focus its attention on what Safeway employees need.

2019-03-22What’s Good for Sobeys Should be Good for Employees
A comprehensive update and review of recent business press affecting Sobeys, we also provide Local 401 members with our union bargaining proposals.

2019-03-05“Retail Slumlords:” Safeway Bargaining Newsflash
Straight from the bargaining table, we share the company’s in-going proposals and summary document to Local 401 members.

2019-01-22Disappointed but Determined
Sobeys cancels our first formal bargaining meeting, but our bargaining committee and council meet to prepare anyway.

2019-12-20 – Union to Sobeys: “Don’t be a Grinch”
Report-back to the membership on pre-bargaining meeting held with Sobeys officials.

2018-11-27Protocol meeting to be held with Sobeys’ bargaining team
We report that we are scheduled to meet with Sobeys’ bargaining team for an initial meeting to discuss protocol and logistics of bargaining on December 19, 2018.

2018-10-27Report-back on our meeting with Sobeys’ Dave Fearon
We report-back on a meeting held with Sobeys’ Dave Fearon and the prospect for face-to-face negotiations with the company.

2018-11-17Sobeys buys Farm Boy: what does this mean for us?
We provide an extensive analysis of Sobeys’ purchase of Ontario grocer, Farm Boy.

2018-09-25Union asks Sobeys to get to the bargaining table
We write to Sobeys’ Dave Fearon and push for face-to-face bargaining meetings and information on the composition of the company’s bargaining team.

2018-09-06Safeway members give direction: report-back on survey results 
We provide an extensive report-back and analysis of Safeway union members’ feelings on negotiations and the strength of the membership.

2018-07-23 – Time to decide: bargain now or later? (email survey no longer live)
We consult our members on when we should push for face-to-face negotiations with Sobeys and whether they feel they will be strong when the time comes.

2018-07-17Telephone Town Hall held
We hold a Telephone Town Hall for all Safeway members and announce a coming survey to decide on next steps in the bargaining process.

2018-07-03Let’s talk about timing: Telephone Town Hall coming soon
We announce a Telephone Town Hall to discuss the timing and changing context of negotiations.

2018-06-29On the buttons
Sobeys asks Safeway employees to wear buttons encouraging customers to shop at its non-union banner. We’re having none of it.

2018-06-07Safeway union members build momentum at bargaining training
We provide an extensive report on Bargaining Committee and Bargaining Council training and a glimpse of the path ahead.

2018-05-22Our bargaining committee to undergo training for Power and Persuasion
We announce our Bargaining Committee and Bargaining Council and advise of an intensive training initiative.

2018-04-06BC process underway as government intervenes
We provide an update on BC negotiations with Sobeys and the BC government’s appointment of Vince Ready as a Special Advisor tasked with resolving disputed contract terms.

2018-03-29Manitoba Safeway union members accept  deal after strike vote
Manitoba Safeway union members vote to accept a deal after having voted 98% in favour of taking strike action.

2018-03-25Saskatchewan union members reach agreement with Sobeys
Saskatchewan Safeway union members accept mediator’s recommendations after multi-year job action.

2018-03-08Sobeys panics: what did the big bad union do?
We engage customers and Sobeys employees in our campaign, and Sobeys panics.

2018-02-22Safeway union members are growling
Sobeys fails to reveal plans for Alberta stores, and Safeway members grow frustrated.

2018-01-30Open letter to Sobeys from chief union negotiator, Tom Hesse
We push Sobeys to reveal its plans for Alberta Safeway stores and demand transparency.

2018-01-26Sobeys fumbles into Manitoba and Saskatchewan
We provide an update on Sobeys’ negotiations with unions in other provinces.

2017-11-23Local 401 positions for people power
We provide a summary of extensive bargaining preparations undertaken to position us well for negotiations with Sobeys.

2017-10-02Information meetings to review survey results announced
We announce new meetings to bring together UFCW members and release bargaining survey results.

2017-10-31 – Locals 401 and 1118 Merge to Create United UFCW in Alberta
Locals 401 and 1118 decide to join forces and create a united voice for UFCW members in Alberta.

2017-07-20Survey report-back and launch of campaign
We provide initial feedback of survey results and announce the launch of our campaign, based on those survey results.

2017-03-13Will there be a strike? Safeway union members asked to attend critical meetings
We hold meetings across the province to discuss negotiations strategy and launch survey.

2017-02-22Local 401 provides notice of bargaining proposal meetings
We provide notice of our initial proposal meetings and consultations with Safeway union members.

2017-02-14Local 1118 holds bargaining proposal meetings
Local 1118 consults northern meat and deli members at bargaining proposal meetings.

2017-01-18Union serves Sobeys with Notice to Bargain
Locals 401 and 1118 serve Sobeys with formal notice to bargain.

2017-01-03Union calls on membership for bargaining proposals
Our initial call for proposals from Safeway union members.


Here are some letters we’ve exchanged with Sobeys with respect to negotiations.

2018-09-25Letter to Dave Fearon Requesting Face-to-Face Meetings

2018-02-14Reply to Ryan Shannon from Tom Hesse

2018-02-05Letter from Ryan Shannon to Tom Hesse 

2018-01-29Local 401 Chief Negotiator, Tom Hesse, writes Letter to Sobeys Negotiator Ryan Shannon

2017-02-01Sobeys’ Response to Notice to Commence Collective Bargaining

2017-01-13UFCW 1118 Notice to Commence Collective Bargaining

2017-01-13UFCW Local 401 Notice to Commence Collective Bargaining