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Superstore strike deadline looms, 2 sides still far apart

Time is running out for 8,500 Superstore workers in Alberta to reach an agreement with their parent company, Loblaw.

8,500 Alberta employees of Loblaw's Superstore in legal strike position at 12:01 am MT Sunday

Time is running out for 8,500 Superstore workers in Alberta to reach an agreement with their parent company, Loblaw.

The unionized employees are planning to strike starting at 12:01 am M.T. on Sunday if Saturday's last-ditch bargaining efforts fail.

According to a union spokesperson, the two sides are still far apart on some key issues.

Superstore employees have been bargaining since January.

The union says Loblaw's owner Galen Weston is out of touch with Alberta's booming needs, which leaves workers scrambling to maintain quality and safety despite slashed hours and high employee turnover.

"This message is resonating with the consumers because they are saying, 'Yeah, I'm sick and tired of walking into my local Superstore at 3:00 on a Tuesday afternoon – when it shouldn't be lined up and it is – because they have one or two cashiers," said Christine McMeckan, spokesperson for United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Local 401, which represents the Superstore workers.

The workers' collective agreement expired in August 2012, and employees across the province have voted 93 per cent in favour of strike action.

There are 28 stores across Alberta

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