Employees of Alberta Safeway are discussing a possible strike action regarding their contract negotiations with Sobeys, according to CTV News.
Albertan safeway employees voted in favour of the strike by 79 percent and there are a total of 75 Safeway locations across Alberta.
“This is perhaps one of the highest retail voter turnouts I’ve seen in recent years,” said Chris O'Halloran, lead union negotiator and executive director of UFCW Local 401
“It is a testament not only to employee and public distaste for the kind of greed we’ve seen from major Canadian grocers but also to our union’s massive member engagement and transparency initiatives.” added O'Halloran.
“Now is the time to speak up and to speak from the heart,” said Thomas Hesses, UFCW Local 401 President, during a Telephone Townhall Meeting last week. “The only way Sobeys will come to the table and bargain a fair contract is if they know we have the heart to fight them if necessary, even if it’s not something we don’t want to do. They need to know we’re strong.”
“Anyone who has visited our strike vote locations knows these are professional and well-executed operations,” added Hesse. “Hats off to the UFCW members and staff working at polling stations across the province to make democracy happen for our Safeway members.”
This does not mean that the strike is guaranteed to happen however, but the union is hoping that the recent vote will show some level of strength and solidarity amongst employees to push Sobeys to bring about a better offer during the negotiations.
The vote does not mean a strike is imminent. The union is hoping this show of strength will push Sobeys to bring a better offer to the bargaining table.