LANGLEY, British Columbia — Overwaitea Food Group here is preparing to enter negotiations Feb. 13 with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1518 in Vancouver for a new contract covering about 19,000 workers, after which the union will hold talks with Safeway Canada. According to the UFCW, Overwaitea is seeking shorter shifts for workers and is asking employees to contribute to paying for their own benefits. The union also said Overwaitea, which operates 112 stores in Western Canada, is seeking to include language that would allow it to convert some stores to the bargain PriceSmart format, which calls for a reduction in pay scales. A spokesman for Overwaitea could not be reached for comment.
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