With polls closing at 3pm today, we can report that the Tentative Agreement our UFCW 247 bargaining committee reached with Sobeys for a new Collective Agreement with Safeway has been accepted by 70%.
This vote comes after a lengthy bargaining process with Sobeys that only seemed to make progress after members from all unions took steps towards taking strike action at Safeway stores in BC. This included UFCW Local 247 members in Zone 1 voting 99% in favour of authorizing strike action. When it came to getting things done in bargaining, this was the push that was needed!
While this Collective Agreement has a lot of achievements, including some of the largest wage increases seen at Safeway in many years, another big win was the level of coordination and solidarity that was built and practiced by unions representing Safeway workers in BC.
“I want to thank all the members who have participated in this process and engaged with their union,” said lead negotiator, Cathy Shannon. “That strong strike vote was our members' achievement, and so is this strong retail agreement that provides opportunities for all UFCW Local 247 members in the Meat, Deli, and Seafood departments over the 5-year term.”
“None of this could have been done without the tenacity and effort of our amazing bargaining committee, which included members from across BC who pushed the interests of their coworkers forward,” added Shannon.
“Just like the strike vote that led to this agreement, there was a really large turnout and engagement of our Safeway members across the province,” said Dan Goodman, President of UFCW Local 247. “It is so encouraging to see members stepping up and participating in their union. We look forward to channelling this engagement towards building a stronger union.”
With the Tentative Agreement now ratified by membership vote, the next step in the process is to begin the work of implementing and enforcing the new agreement. UFCW Local 247 staff, union representatives, and shop stewards will be turning their focus towards ensuring the terms of the agreement are implemented and enforced through the term of the agreement.