Friday, April 1, 2022 – Safeway workers in Manitoba voted overwhelmingly in favour of accepting their new five-year collective agreement, making them the highest paid, unionized retail workers in the province.
In late February after the Safeway bargaining committee feared their employer was not taking their requests seriously, Safeway workers voted more than 98% in favour of giving the committee a strike mandate. The strong message put significant pressure on their employer, Sobeys Capital Incorporated, to bring in financial improvements that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible.
“Our bargaining team worked extremely hard to represent the concerns of the 1,700 Safeway workers across Manitoba,” said Jeff Traeger, union president and lead negotiator. “While we still strongly believe that they deserve more after working on the front line for the past two years, this new agreement includes wage and benefit improvements that are above-and-beyond comparison to other unionized retail grocery workers.”
In addition to wage increases and funding for the members’ benefits plan, this new deal gives cashiers a way to address their concerns about scheduling and to refuse the use of a customer’s unsanitary re-usable bag without facing discipline from management, a concern shared among many Safeway workers.
During bargaining, Sobeys Capital Incorporated and UFCW 832 agreed to move Manitoba’s six FreshCo stores to their own bargaining unit, so that FreshCo members will have their concerns addressed without being overshadowed by the larger group of Safeway members.
UFCW Local 832 represents over 1,700 workers at all 18 Safeway locations in Winnipeg, Brandon, Dauphin, Selkirk, Neepawa and Thompson.
To arrange an interview with Jeff Traeger, please contact:
UFCW Local 832