Toronto – June 30, 2014 – As Canada’s leading union for retail workers, UFCW Canada is committed to representing members who are affected by the restructuring at Sobeys. The Empire Co. Ltd., which owns Sobeys and its banner grocery stores, recently announced that approximately 50 stores will be closed. The planned closures are part of the company’s ongoing review of its store network, which began following the Sobeys takeover of Safeway stores in Western Canada last year.
UFCW Canada and its Local Unions represent employees at more than 350 Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, and Freshco stores across the country. The union also represents workers at Sobeys distribution centres in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta, and Nova Scotia. Members of UFCW Canada who are affected by store closures are protected by collective agreements which include language regarding seniority rights and other safeguards.
While Sobeys has yet to disclose all the locations that will be affected, more than 300 members of UFCW Canada Local 832 in Manitoba have received notice that their workplaces are closing. Five unionized stores and one distribution centre in the province are affected. Union representatives are available in all of the locations and most members will have the ability to transfer to other stores.
"I want to assure all of our members at Sobeys and Safeway that their union will work hard to ensure that the company abides by the language negotiated in their collective agreements," says Paul Meinema, UFCW Canada's National President. "Any and all restructuring must be done in accordance with the terms of the collective agreement, and should reflect the fact that UFCW members have helped to build Sobeys as a successful Canadian company," Brother Meinema adds.