Superstore workers approve strike action

Workers at the eight Superstore locations in the Capital Region have voted 75% in favour of a strike.

Workers at the eight Superstore locations in the Capital Region have voted 75% in favour of a strike.

They're the first group of Superstore employees in Alberta to take a strike vote, though workers in the 11 other mega-grocery stores in the province are considering similar action.

Tom Hesse, negotiator with the United Food and Commercial Workers union, says workers are asking for better working conditions, and better pay.

"Workers are asking for one dollar in the first year and one dollar in the second year. The employer is offering, over a seven-year period in time, a total of one dollar. Which, at the low end, in some job classifications, means about eleven cents per year."

Hesse says, currently, Superstore employees make between $6.50 an hour and $14 an hour.

He says, the company's wage offer is insulting, given that Superstore is the most profitable food retailer in the country. "They're trying to seal their fate for seven years," said Hesse, "and it's not a very nice fate."

Hesse says employees also want more respect. He says, currently, cashiers are denied a glass of water at the till, and proper rubber anti-fatigue mats to stand on.

Negotiations continue between the food giant and employees across the province. Hesse says 72 hour strike notice has not yet been given.