The British Columbia provincial government has appointed well known Arbitrator and Mediator Vince Ready as a special officer to help resolve a collective bargaining dispute between the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1518 and Sobeys, owner of about 60 Safeway stores in the province. The dispute concerns collective agreement negotiations under a reopener clause, and various allegations of unfair labour practices related to store closures and other issues. The Union asked the government to intervene, claiming the negotiations had reached an impasse. There are also a number of outstanding grievances. Mr. Ready will have authority to make appropriate orders, which may include imposing a collective agreement. It is likely that mediation efforts will be directed to seeking a resolution to the dispute that is acceptable to the parties.

For further information see BC Government Appoints Special Officer in Sobeys Dispute.