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An Open Letter to our Customers, Employees and UFCW 1518

For the last 25 years, Lifestyle Markets has played an integral part in supporting the health and well-being of our Greater Victoria community. As an independent family-owned business, we have worked hard to bring you organic foods, vitamins, and the natural products you seek to support your individual dietary and nutritional needs. At the same time, we have done our utmost to support local farmers and growers as well as alternative health care practitioners and small family owned enterprises across Vancouver Island. We have always believed that we are “all in this together” and now is no different.

On Feb 11, 2020, some members of our employee team voted to unionize under the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1518. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic and British Columbia set in motion its provincial coordination plan. Timing couldn’t have been worse for these two milestones to collide, but here we are.

With the vote to unionize, Lifestyle Markets has now had to walk that delicate balance between enforcement of the BC Labour Relations Code which governs our actions, while simultaneously respecting our employees’ right to protest as a show of solidarity. We have always respected both sides of this equation as it has helped engender a distinctive set of values in a community which is home to our provincial parliament and significant home-grown activism.

So with this in mind, let us address our current situation;

To Our Loyal Customers

We recognize that you have options on where you choose to shop, and we thank you for your continued loyalty to us through this stressful time. We will continue to provide you with the same high level of products and professionalism you have come to expect from our management and team members throughout this pandemic and promise to work diligently to ensure a smooth and safe experience in our stores.

To Our Valued Employees

We recognize these are difficult times for everyone, made worse by the collision of unionization and a global health crisis. We will continue to follow the guidance of the BC Ministry of Health and Worksafe BC to ensure we adopt the most current safety measures and methods in our stores and you have our commitment that we will continue to bargain in good faith to expedite the Collective Bargaining Agreement you have requested.

To the UFCW 1518

We recognize you have a role to play in escalating tactics against Lifestyle Markets as a show of solidarity amongst your members. We remind you that your members, our employees, have waited for the Collective Bargaining Agreement you promised them on Feb 11, 2020.

Our priority is, and always has been the continued health of our community and employees as well as the successful completion of our first Collective Bargaining Agreement. Lifestyle Markets looks forward to serving our community through this pandemic, so in the meantime stay healthy and stay safe and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Our Kindest Regards

Lifestyle Markets