Shelves sit empty at the Safeway store in the Strawberry Hills area of Surrey. (Tom Zillich/Surrey Now-Leader)

9 Safeways to stay open till July 5 as company negotiates with union

B.C. labour ministry has appointed Vince Ready to help with talks

Nine Safeway stores scheduled to close in May will now stay open until at least July, according to parent company Sobeys.

The grocery store chain announced Wednesday that Vince Ready was appointed by the Labour Ministry to help with union negotiations.

Ready, who helped negotiate the BC Teachers’ Federation contract, has ordered Sobeys to keep the stores open until at least July 5.

The union negotiations are to do with reopening the collective agreement between the two parties.

Sobeys wants to close five stores and reopen them as FreshCo., citing a growing demand for discount grocery stores.

The company has 88 of the discount grocery stores, all in Ontario, but is seeking to bring them to B.C.

In January, the company had announced it would shutter nine stores, from Burnaby to Mission, on May 5. Its Vancouver City Square location remains set to close on July 28.

The following locations will be closing permanently on July 5:

· Safeway, Lougheed Mall, Burnaby

· Safeway, City Square, Vancouver (July 28)

· Safeway, Sunwood Square, Coquitlam

· Safeway, Point Grey, Vancouver

· Safeway, Royal Oak, Burnaby

The following locations will be closing, but may reopen as FreshCo.:

· Safeway, Blundell, Richmond

· Safeway, Broadmoor, Richmond

· Safeway, Newton Town Center, Surrey

· Safeway, Strawberry Hills, Surrey

· Safeway Mission

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