Smithers, B.C. – January 15, 2016 – UFCW Canada Local 1518 members working at Bulkley Valley Wholesale in Smithers, British Columbia have ratified a new four-year contract.
Bulkley Valley Wholesale is a grocery and food service wholesaler that has served northwest British Columbia for over forty-five years. The grocery store is a part of the Overwaitea Food Group, which includes Save On Foods and Urban Fare, among other chains.
The new collective agreement features a number of improvements, including an increase in the top wage rate from $14.20 to $19.00 per hour over the duration of the contract. Members at over-scale wage rates will receive a $1.20 per hour increase over the course of the agreement.
As per the new deal, members will receive a signing bonus of $750 if they average 32 hours or more per week; $500 for members averaging 24 to 31 hours per week; and $250 for members averaging 16 to 23 hours per week.
The employer has also agreed to increase their contribution to the employee pension plan by 1.25 percent over four years, based on total earnings. As well, the contract introduces a prescription drug plan card for members working 32 hours or more per week and adds consecutive days off for full-time employees.
There are also improvements to vacation scheduling language and an enhanced "clerks work" clause.
The union negotiating committee was comprised of Desmond Harris, Greg Fisher, Union Representative Melinda Driedger, and UFCW Canada Local 1518 Assistant to the President Kim Balmer.