Empire Company Limited has ratified a new five-year employment contract with its Safeway employees in Alberta. “We are committed to our teams in Alberta and are focused on securing a fair deal through the collective bargaining process – an agreement that allows us to build a strong future in Alberta,” wrote spokeswoman Zakiah Lalani. August 10, 2020 – Calgary, AB – We are pleased to announce the results of the vote on a new collective agreement for Alberta Safeway members. With more than half of our nearly 8,000 Safeway members participating in the voting processes under this agreement, 90% voted in favour of the company`s offer for a new union contract for Alberta Safeway employees. “We remain deeply concerned about the spread of COVID-19, especially as Alberta schools need to be reopened,” says Hesse. “But this new safeway agreement contains new provisions in the areas of health and safety, and I believe it is an agreement that can be adapted to the time we are facing. It`s pretty elastic. “Implicitly in this new agreement is also a new commitment of our union to continually raise the voices of our members,” he explains. “Our union has spent $1.2 million on the processes needed to get this agreement, but even with those resources and that kind of effort, it`s not perfect. We will not hesitate to protest and express ourselves if there are ways in which the agreement does not work.
The new agreement contains innovative provisions that emphasize the application and respect of members` trade union rights, including the introduction of stewards from the trade union march to support the police of the agreement. There will be a new planning program underway to ensure that the proper allocation of hours in each department and in each store is a reality. “Our goal is to reach an agreement that allows us to invest in safeway`s future and introduce our FreshCo discount brand to Albertans.” In terms of elasticity, there will be more wage negotiations in the fourth and fifth years of the agreement and the introduction of FreshCo`s unionized branches in Alberta will involve further negotiations with the company on what form the agreement will take. “We are committed to increasing our market share through Project Horizon, and strengthening our Safeway banner in Western Canada is important to our success,” said Michael Medline, President and CEO of Empire.