About 8,500 unionized Alberta Superstore employees officially went on strike as of 12:01am, Sunday October 6th. Calgary Southport branch of Real Canadian Superstore is one of the many physical battlefields of the 2013 Alberta Superstore strike. On this late night Calgary (Sunday about 1:00am) the temperature felt cold like it was in the single digit (officially 12 degree C). UFCW local 401 union representative & picket captain Joe Attwood took a few minutes to talk and said, "it is not cold at all and everyone are in very good spirit. And we've been doing a lot of teaching to make sure everybody knows what is going on and everything is going perfectly fine." (Watch full video interview here. Watch longer but lower quality LIVE broadcasted video here.)
There were about 25 to 30 striking employees at Southport walking the picket line. One delivery truck was held up at the time by striking employees walking the picket line and Attwood indicated they will exercise their legal rights to strike by following the law at the same time. So he said the delivery truck would be held up for 30 minutes going in and then another 30 minutes going out for a total delay of about 60 minutes. The picketing was peaceful in the early hours. So peaceful that the two police cars present in beginning of the strike left before 1:45am. As you can watch in my video interview with picket captain Attwood, he talked about the immediate situation at the local Calgary Southport location while deferring questions about negotiation table discussions and potential length of the strike to the union spokesperson.
At press time (that is 6:13am or 6 hrs 12 mins after the strike started), Superstore has neither released a strike update via a traditional newswire service like CNW nor use its own Twitter account to make any announcement. In contrast, UFCW local 401 had posted 20 tweets in the last 7 hours, including the official tweet that stated the strike would go ahead as scheduled! Plus three photos of the strike in action across the province,
* Edmonton, Calgary Trail location: "@UFCW401 4h RT @Rod_Loyola: Superstore Night Shift Workers holding up a truck from lvg Calgary Trail location #ItsAboutFairness"
* Calgary, Shawnessy location: "@UFCW401 Looking strong at Shawnessy and around the province #Superstore #ItsAboutFairness #Loblaw"
For further news & analysis, stay tuned for "Alberta Superstore Strike - Social Media Battlefields (Part 2 of 2)" which the last part of this article has started a little.
*** Oct 7th Update: In light of latest announcement from the union this morning after 4am, please see this latest published article "Superstore Tentative Deal Announced on Facebook and Twitter".