Safeway workers in the Lower Mainland have voted in favour of striking, but several days of bargaining are scheduled beginning on Sept. 20.
The United Food and Commercial Workers 1518 union announced Thursday (Sept. 14) that employees at Safeways in the Lower Mainland to Whistler voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike. The strike isn’t immediate as bargaining is set for Sept. 20 to 29.
A release from UFCW 1518 says its members are “united and ready to fight for what they deserve at the Sobeys bargaining table.”
If members do strike, it would be for stores in Zone 1 which is the Lower Mainland to Whistler.
Ahead of the vote, UFCW 1518 said that it had been bargaining with Safeway’s parent company Sobeys “for 38 sessions spanning over eight months.” The union said recent offers included a less-than-one-per-cent increase some years and a lump-sum payment for only select employees.
UFCW 1518 president Kim Novak said the union has heard stories of corporate gouging while workers “are left struggling and falling further and further behind as Sobeys has delayed negotiations and refuses to present a fair wage offer.”
“Our members working at Safeway stores have worked tirelessly through a pandemic, rising inflation and record profits reported by the company they work for – Sobeys. Now that we are in bargaining, their employer has seemingly turned their back on that.”
Safeway is part of the Sobeys Inc. brand, which is a subsidiary of Empire Company Ltd. headquartered in Nova Scotia.