Superstore workers taking strike vote
Employees of the Real Canadian Superstore in Red Deer are scheduled to vote on strike action Wednesday.
The approximately 300 people who work at the 5016 51st Ave. store and the nearby Real Canadian Liquorstore are members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401, which represents some 8,500 Superstore staff in Alberta.
Last week, 97 per cent of Superstore employees in Calgary and Edmonton who took part in a strike vote voted in favour of walking out.
Julija Hunter, vice-president of public relations with Superstore parent Loblaw Companies Ltd., confirmed on Tuesday that Red Deer members of the local were expected to vote on job action Wednesday.
Superstore workers in Grande Prairie conducted a similar vote on Sunday, she said, with their counterparts in Lethbridge and Fort McMurray following suit on Monday, and workers in Medicine Hat and Lloydminster doing the same on Tuesday.
Results of those votes were not available. Employees in Camrose were also expected to take part in a strike vote on Wednesday.
Hunter said in an email that her company remains committed to reaching a negotiated deal with its employees.
“We have a responsibility to our colleagues and to our business to make sure the collective agreement we negotiate allows us to remain competitive now and in the future,” she said, adding that such a deal must balance Loblaw’s business needs with the needs of Superstore employees.
The Advocate was unable to speak with a representative of the United Food and Commercial Workers. But a message from union president Douglas O’Halloran posted on the local’s website said strike votes are often conducted to “send the company a message.”
“No one wants to go on strike, and it is not our goal to have a strike,” he said.