As we continue the negotiations process with Sobeys, our union bargaining committee is increasingly convinced that UFCW Local 401 members working at Alberta Safeway stores should prepare for a potential strike with Sobeys.
We don’t believe a strike will happen before Christmas, but we must be prepared, especially as our bargaining discussions with the company move on to more difficult topics.
In spite of recent news celebrating Sobeys’ economic success and other expensive and high profile marketing gimmicks, we expect the company to dig in even more than they have when it comes to how they treat their Safeway employees. We will need to be strong.
We are going to be talking about the issues, the likelihood of a strike, and other strategic matters soon. There will not necessarily be a strike, but if Sobeys is not prepared to negotiate a fair transition to a new employee compensation system as their business and the industry changes, we will have little choice but to stand up and fight back.
If there is a dispute, there will be picket lines in front of all Sobeys-owned stores across the province. That includes Safeway and Sobeys stores.
Some of the important work we’re doing to prepare for a possible dispute is to assess the financial needs of picketers. If there’s a strike, people will need to meet their basic financial needs. One of our jobs is to offer you financial support during such times.
Recently, we have formed a Safeway Strike Benefit Committee comprised of Safeway employees to help determine what a fair strike benefit (i.e. picket pay) might be. That committee has asked for current information from our Safeway membership to help inform their discussions and assist them in making their recommendations.
Our Strike Benefit Committee can only make informed decisions when they have the best information available. We know it’s not going to be perfect information, but we’re just asking for your most sincere responses about how you feel right now.
Please complete the following survey by no later than October 31, 2019.