August 4th, 2020

Safeway workers to vote on new deal

By Medicine Hat News on July 25, 2020.

Safeway workers across Alberta will vote on a new union contract in early August, weeks after a strike vote and mediators’ report on how to break a stalemate in talks that have gone on since March 2017.

About 8,100 workers are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local No. 401, and voting to ratify a new contract offer will take place in Brooks and Medicine Hat on Aug. 4 and 5, respectively.

Talks have been complicated by the takeover of Safeway Canada stores by Sobey’s, according to the union, as well as that company’s intention to introduce the low-cost FreshCo. store chain in Western Canada, third-party vendor agreements and more recently pandemic pay that has become a “political issue,” according to a notice to members sent out this week.

It also states that the bargaining committee believes the most recent offer obtains some of the union’s key demand while providing a means to avoid a “lengthy and massive” strike across the province. Details were not released.

Voting will take place in 24 locations across the province during the week.

On Aug. 4 in Brooks will take place at the union’s office fro 10 a.m. to 8 p.m at the Union’s office, while Medicine Hat members can vote during similar hours on Aug. 5 at the Holiday Inn Express on Strachan Bay.

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