As part of the recent Sobeys reopener and FOS decision, the Union was able to negotiate that the Employer approve a voluntary severance/buyout offering to a minimum of ten (10) Grid A Meat Cutters. It has always been difficult to get the Employer to consider these types of severance/buyouts for Meat Cutters, and we were happy that some of our senior members would now have this opportunity.
As a result of these senior, skilled members leaving, there is a shortage of trained Meat Cutters. The Union viewed this as an opening to engage the Employer once again in discussions on Training and how it would make sense for us to work together to get members trained and accessing those higher paid positions.
The Union has pledged to help offset costs of the Program through a one-time donation of $45,000 from it’s Training and Education Fund. The Local has also made similar donations to Thompson Rivers University and its Retail Meat Apprenticeship Program and will continue to stay involved and encourage members to enroll.
Although there are other training options out there, the Employer was looking for something that could be done in-store. Union Representative Bruce Jackson will be working with the Company to develop a program to address the specific skill set required through in store training.
“There have been similar modules in the past, but we need to update certain aspects and with these members leaving, it’s the perfect time,” said Jackson.
“Bruce is very passionate about the Trade and his experience as a Meat Cutter himself, along with his involvement with other training programs, make him the obvious choice to lead this for the union,” commented Local 247 Secretary Treasurer Dan Goodman.
We are currently finalizing the details of the Training Program and will release more details soon.