SETTLE OR STRIKE: IT’S UP TO YOU
Together, we’ve been fighting hard for what BC’s food workers need and deserve: RESPECT for all the essential work we do and PAY so we can keep up. Food workers everywhere have had to fight to put food on their own tables while grocery store owners have made record profits during the pandemic. These challenges are unprecedented.
In negotiations with Loblaw in BC, your UFCW union bargaining committee has been fighting hard. We have reached a key point where we need to consult with our membership again before moving forward. The livelihoods of nearly 10,000 members impacted by these negotiations depend on what happens next. So, let’s review where we’ve been before considering where we are now and deciding what comes next.
Bargaining Beyond the Negotiating Table
Bargaining doesn’t just happen at the negotiating table; it also happens in the stores or warehouses through countless conversations among members and also through democratic votes taken by UFCW Local 247 members across BC. In April, YOU VOTED BY 78% TO REJECT A COMPANY OFFER. We knew we would have to take a strike vote to get something better, and so we did that in May, with 97% VOTING IN FAVOUR OF A STRIKE, giving our union committee the legal mandate to issue strike notice to the company if necessary. Turnout at these votes and engagement in these conversations have been massive.
We’ve been getting ready to strike if necessary. Over 100 members from every Retail Store and Distribution Centre have participated in PICKET CAPTAIN TRAINING, and thousands of members have REGISTERED FOR PICKET DUTY. We are ready to escalate our fight.
Loblaw Responded to Our Solidarity and Pressure
With pressure building, the company returned to the bargaining table on June 23 and 24, 2022. OUR COMMITTEE FOUGHT FOR IMPROVEMENTS, and the company became frustrated. When we told the company that we would strike if the deal was rejected, predictably, LOBLAW THREATENED TO LOCK US OUT IF THIS OFFER IS TURNED DOWN, as they view this deal as the end of the line.
We achieved a tentative Retail deal on Friday, June 24, 2022. The deal is not perfect and won’t meet everyone’s expectations, but it is SUBSTANTIALLY better than the last one, and we do not believe a dispute would improve it. Your committee does not believe a dispute will improve the Company’s offer; therefore, they are recommending that you accept the proposed offer.
So, your committee is TAKING IT BACK TO YOU, THE MEMBERSHIP to consider and vote on before issuing strike notice.
Whether there is a settlement, strike, or company lockout, is up to you. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IS YOUR DEMOCRATIC DECISION. We encourage members to vote with accurate information and consider their own interests and circumstances before voting. Whatever happens, your decision will have the full support of your UFCW union bargaining committee, leadership, and staff.
Your UFCW Local 247 Union Bargaining Committee
The following is a summary of the new proposed contract.
INITIAL WAGE INCREASE AND SIGNING BONUS INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE THROUGH YOUR UNION REPRESENTATIVE.
Some highlights of the tentative contract include:
SIGNING BONUSES FOR ALL CURRENT MEMBERS based on average hours worked over the past 12 week period regardless of Full-time or Part-time status:
o 32 hrs + = $1200 Retro Lump Sum
o 24 hrs + = $650 Retro Lump Sum
o 16 hrs + = $350 Retro Lump Sum
o 8 hrs + = $200 Retro Lump Sum
o Less than 8 hrs = $100 Retro Lump Sum
OFF-SCALE WAGE INCREASES FOR ALL CURRENT TOP RATE FOOD SPECIALISTS/MEAT CUTTERS/BAKERS. Guaranteed wage increases of $2.40 per hour for ALL members on the top of the Food Specialist/ Meat Cutter/ Baker Wage Scale over the term of the agreement. Depending on classification, place in progression, and previous off-scale increases received, these represent wage increases of between 8 to 14% over the term.
Even though though they are not normally entitled to receive off scale increases, specialists within the progression will receive the $1.00 off-scale increase.
NO MORE TWO-TIER TRAINEE/SPECIALIST SCALE AND ELIMINATION OF LOWER GM SCALE. Creation of a new pay scale that will significantly improve wages for 6,500 members. Food, GM, and Pharmacy will now all be on a new scale with a new top rate of $18.50 per hour at ratification and additional yearly increases for a total of $3.15 over the life of the agreement, taking the top rate to $20 per hour. There is also a revamped Pharmacy scale with up to $4 added to the scale.
ELIMINATION OF THE HIRE DATE QUALIFIER FOR NIGHT SHIFT PREMIUM OF $0.75 PER HOUR. Premium for hours worked between 10pm to 5am and if shift starts between 10pm and 2am the entire shift will receive premium. This was NOT in the deal that was rejected. There will still be a NIGHT CREW 4-DAY WORK WEEK
PILOT PROGRAM. NEW SCHEDULING FLEXIBILITY PROVISIONS. Introduction of a tool allowing members the chance to pick up hours they need or give up hours they don’t need depending on their situation. This is a GAME CHANGER for members looking to move up the wage scales or wanting to add flexibility to their lives without restricting.
MORE PART TIME SCHEDULING IMPROVEMENTS. Two-week schedules will be posted for PT members, like FT. More availability changes can be made throughout the year. Anytime Members can block time off on weekends for the first time ever!
CROSS-TRAINING OFFERED BY SENIORITY so you can pick up hours in other departments and learn new skills.
FULL-TIME CAN CHOOSE TO WORK IN MULTIPLE DEPARTMENTS
ADDITION OF 112 NEW FULL-TIME POSITIONS for those looking to work FT and receive FT benefits
PT WITH EXISTING 28 HOUR GUARANTEE CAN CHOOSE TO INCREASE TO 30 HOURS for the life of the Agreement
BUY-OUTS TO BE OFFERED TO 150 MEMBERS (50 more than the rejected deal)
OTHER IMPORTANT CHANGES AND LANGUAGE IMPROVEMENTS
MINIMUM WAGE ADJUSTMENT PROVISION where the Generalist/Clerk scale goes up with the new minimum wage and employees progress at $0.10 increments until their class hours correspond to an existing rate on the pay scale.
SENIORITY DATE will be a Fixed date and there will no longer be a need to apply for seniority credit.
CREDIT FOR PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE updated to allow for credit to class hours for pay purposes.
NIGHT SHIFT LEAD HAND PREMIUM to increase from $0.75 to $1.00 per hour
SAFETY FOOTWEAR ALLOWANCE extended to Full-time Grocery Clerks
ANTI-FATIGUE MATS now available for Cashiers at Self-Scan
WATER to be available for all, notwithstanding Food Safety Regulations
LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT in preamble of Collective Agreement
Explanation Town Hall meeting times and voting locations can be viewed here.