Sobeys Resorts to Shameless Bullying

January 24, 2018


Announces BC Store Closures Right Before Bargaining

Last week, Sobeys tabled a set of proposals that would ensure Safeway employees in Manitoba would lose much of what they currently have so the company can make more profits and yesterday it picked another fight in Western Canada.

In British Columbia, where bargaining is just set to start with UFCW Local 1518, Sobeys announced that it would be closing ten stores, showing just how little they care about their employees.

The company stated that if they got their way in negotiations, they would consider reopening five of those closed stores under the FreshCo discount banner – where benefits and pension are virtually non-existent and wages keep workers well below the poverty line.

 How generous of them.

 "Safeway was once a well-respected brand with good quality products, but since the takeover by Sobeys, it's been run into the ground,” said UFCW Local 832 President Jeff Traeger. “Sobeys has cut hours, understocked shelves, and quite frankly ruined what was once a thriving company. Resorting to bullying tactics with the options being 'poverty or nothing' is an irresponsible slap in the face to its employees and I know it won’t work in British Columbia or here in Manitoba."

 The employees of Safeway in Manitoba have been pushed to their limit since Sobeys took over through the heavy-handed attempts the company has made to get them to do more with less.

 A union member working at Safeway, who remains anonymous out of fear of management reprisal said, "They have destroyed us and have made a joke out of our stores. Sobeys employees are stressed. Sobeys customers are upset because they are not receiving the quality of service they have been used to. And now the company is turning it around and blaming its employees! We are the ones trying to keep it all together. I'm frustrated and feel extremely disrespected. How do you keep working for a company that acts like a two-year-old having a temper tantrum?”

 UFCW Locals across Western Canada are banding together to fight back against Sobeys attempts to bring in poverty wages instead of living wages.

 UFCW Local 832 represents over 2,200 Safeway employees in Manitoba.

Read UFCW 1518's original article here.

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