PRESS RELEASE: FEBRUARY 13, 2014

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Sobeys Announces Sale of Stores to Overwaitea Food Group

UFCW Local 247 was informed today by Sobeys Inc that they have agreed to sell 12 stores in British Columbia to the Overwaitea Food Group. This number includes the original five (5) stores they were required to divest as required by the Competition Bureau related to its purchase of Canada Safeway, and an additional seven (7) stores they have agreed to include. If you recall, the original list of stores were:

Safeway #98- Tsawwassen

Safeway #66- Sidney

Safeway #80- Victoria

Safeway #185- Victoria, as well as the non-union Thrifty Foods in New West.

In addition, Sobeys has also agreed to sell Overwaitea the following stores:

Safeway #48- New Westminster

Safeway #195- Victoria

Safeway #67- Duncan

Safeway #39- Port Alberni

Safeway #147- Ladysmith, and two additional non-union Thrifty foods in Abbotsford and the Nanaimo.

At this point, we are unsure of the actual transfer of ownership dates and will update you when we have confirmation.

The Company also announced that they will be closing the Courtenay store this May.

You may not be aware, but earlier this year, Local 247 Overwaitea members approved the transfer of their membership to Local 1518. This became effective February 9th, and as a result Local 247 no longer has jurisdiction in the existing, pre-sale Overwaitea stores. The sale of the stores today to Overwaitea and the impact of the transfer of jurisdiction is complicated and requires further discussion between the Company, the Union and their legal counsel.

Local 247 believes that in this instance, Overwaitea are the successor employer and therefore they inherit the Local 247 collective agreement and employees. This is a separate issue from the transfer of jurisdiction mentioned above.

Union representatives will be visiting the stores over the next week to help answer any questions members may have.

  • ufcw [at] ufcw247 [dot] com