News

Safeway jobs and benefits safe in Greater Victoria: Overwaitea boss

The sale of four Greater Victoria Safeway stores to Overweitea Food Group last Thursday won’t impact current employees, says the company’s president.

Safeway locations at Fort and Foul Bay roads, Tillicum Mall, University Heights mall and in Sidney’s Beacon Plaza  will transition to Save-on-Foods between mid-March and early May, as part of a 15-store purchase by Overwaitea across B.C. and Alberta. The move affects about 400 unionized employees in the Capital Region.

“We’ve let the team members and store managers know that all pay and benefits they currently have under their contracts will remain in place,” said Darryl Jones, Overwaitea Food Group president.

Safeway locations in Port Alberni, Ladysmith and Duncan, and a Thrifty Foods in Nanaimo are also part of the sale, meaning Safeway will vanish from Vancouver Island altogether.

“The face of retail food is really changing dramatically in B.C., and it’s a bit disappointing to see the Safeway banner disappear from the Island, but we’ll roll with it,” said Andy Neufeld, communications director for United Food and Commercial Workers 1518, which represents both Safeway and Save-on-Foods employees.

Neufeld said new employee contracts will be “virtually identical” to the current agreements, and that all benefits and pensions will remain in place for existing employees.

“The important thing for Safeway members is they won’t go backwards under a new contract,” he said. “We are really delighted Overwaitea has stepped up and taken over these stores.”

Sobeys purchased 213 Canada Safeway stores for $5.8 billion last year, triggering a sell-off of 23 stores deemed too close to one another under Canadian Competition Bureau regulations.

Sobeys added another nine Safeway stores to its final sale. Overwaitea purchased 15, while Federated Co-operatives Ltd. bought 14 locations across Western Canada.

“We’ve been on Vancouver Island since 1918, so this really feels like home for us,” Jones said.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

FCANCER AND FAMILIES-Part 2: Family knew little of children’s cancer
 
Harvest fan
 
VIDEO: Witnesses describe scene at Parliament Hill; Raw footage of Ottawa shootings
Driver blames signage for Cow Bay swamping
 
ELECTION 2104: Cow Bay incumbent wants to stay the course, challenger seeks overhaul
 
Blasting causes headaches for Langford homeowners
Kist resigns as Pacific NorthWest LNG president; Progress Energy CEO acting president
 
UPDATE: 2 confirmed dead in Marysville, Washington school shooting
 
Campbellton planning big (and little) changes

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 24 edition online now. Browse the archives.