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More disruption: Safeway closure stores ordered open til July 5

UFCW Local 247 has been informed today that Vince Ready, government-assigned Special Officer for UFCW Local 1518 and Sobeys, has ordered that the nine Safeway stores scheduled to close on May 5 must now stay open until July 5.

UFCW Local 247 was not included or involved in the discussions leading to Ready’s ruling.

Labour Minister Harry Bains appointed Ready after Local 1518 asked the government to intervene when collective agreement negotiations between Local 1518 and Sobeys (owners of Safeway) led nowhere in March.

In what has already been a very difficult time for union members working at Safeway, Ready’s ruling only adds to the disruption members have already experienced since Safeway made their multiple store closure announcement in January.

Union staff are in contact with Sobeys in an effort to clarify what Ready’s ruling will mean for the large number of members who had already made serious decisions about their future based on the May 5 closure date.

Today’s ruling by Ready may delay moves that were scheduled to take place following store closures on May 5.

Contractually, union members in stores scheduled for May 5 closure now have the right to continue working until July 5.

It is expected that Sobeys will be circulating documents to union members in the stores scheduled for closure regarding severance and the store closure process.

Union staff are continuing to talk with the company, and as soon as the union has verified information about upcoming changes to the closure and severance process, we will post that information on the UFCW 247 website.

  • ufcw [at] ufcw247 [dot] com