Happy New Year! We hope you had a marvellously festive holiday break!
2017 is going to be big year! As Safeway members you know that negotiations for your new contract are coming up fast.
Many of our members are saying that the first thing that should be on our minds in 2017 should be the bargaining process and joining in solidarity right out of the gate with the start of this new year.
So we are putting together a plan to gather your ideas and thoughts on bargaining. There will be special proposal meetings, surveys, and many other opportunities to speak to union officials and representatives about your ideas.
Start thinking about your workplace issues now!
What do you want to say to Safeway? What do you want to say to Sobeys?
Local 401’s goal is to ensure that our bargaining positions clearly reflect your needs, desires, and concerns.
We want you to think about all aspects of your employment. Issues like:
We would be happy to see your feedback on these issues and any others we may have missed.
You can email us at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please speak to your union representatives as well. They will happily gather your proposals from you and help you find whatever additional information you need to help you provide your union with the best feedback possible.
Some Sobeys pundits are currently suggesting that the company is facing serious financial difficulties. Also, there appears to be some opinions that have come out which suggests that Sobeys’ difficulties are their own fault and the fault of senior executives.
Whether true or not these issues combined with the downturn in the Alberta economy will require a nuanced and sophisticated approach to bargaining.
We know that Safeway is an outstanding brand with some of the best employees in the business.
Safeway stores are conveniently located across the province and there is a deeply rooted association and sense of community amongst Albertans with the Safeway stores and their workers in their neighbourhoods.
Your negotiators believe that our members can offer Sobeys a path to success for their business that will allow it to prosper while still rewarding Safeway employees for their hard work, ensuring their job security, and thus continuing the support for our local economies.
Sobeys needs the support of Safeway employees now more than ever.
In 2016, we asked you to wear your “I Will Be Strong” buttons. In 2017 we ask that you do so even more in order to show the Sobeys family that it’s the intention of Alberta Safeway employees to bargain with strength and unity.
We’ve been listening carefully to union members about the timing of negotiations. Many are saying we should not rush the negotiation process. Some analysts are predicting improvements to the Alberta economy later in 2017. Many members do not want to rush to the bargaining table while the economy is struggling and while Sobeys might be panicking about their misfortunes. Other very militant union members see the current environment as an opportunity to hit Sobeys hard while they are vulnerable. Union negotiators are considering these view points. We are monitoring the relevant factors carefully and we will be working hard to develop a balanced strategic approach.
– Tom Hesse, Executive Director of Labour Relations UFCW Local 401