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UFCW Local 247 has told Sobeys-Safeway that the company’s decision to “terminate” union members in stores the company wants to operate as FreshCo (see Sobeys closure announcement) is wrong. In addition, the union wants full disclosure of Sobeys business and operational plans for the Safeway stores it intends to permanently close.

In letters sent to Sobeys on January 25, and January 26, Local 247 advised the company it cannot simply ignore the rights of union members under the current collective agreement.

“We have given Sobeys a deadline of February 2nd to disclose the information we have requested regarding the ownership and any development plans for the 5 stores they have said they intend to permanently close,” says Suzanne Hodge, President of UFCW Local 247. “If we don’t receive that information then we are prepared to take the issue to the Labour Relations Board.”

“The protections for Safeway workers when there are store closures are spelled out in the contract, and Sobeys needs to understand the union will be enforcing those rights,” says Hodge.

“It’s very, very difficult already for union members to hear from the company that according to Sobeys, they will simply be “terminated” the day their store closes,” says Hodge. “Sobeys appears to be trying to ignore the contract, and are effectively toying with and threatening the jobs and livelihoods of our members.”

“That’s simply not on,” says Hodge. “This is no way to do business, and Sobeys has been put on notice that we will be actively enforcing our members’ contractual and legal rights.”

Click here to see the union’s letter dated Jan. 25th to Sobeys.

Click here to see the union’s letter dated Jan. 26th to Sobeys.

  • ufcw [at] ufcw247 [dot] com