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•  The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that the five-store Safeway chain there has converted to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), "establishing a trust that will distribute yearly profit-related bonuses to more than 150 employees."

According to the story, Scott Weaver, owner of SAW Capital, Safeway’s parent company, said, "I felt the time was right.  I wanted to figure out a way to reward my employees who helped me achieve my success."

The 75-year-old retailer was founded "by Michael DeFabis Sr., who operated the stores with his three brothers (Phil, Julio, Ernest) for more than 40 years," the Journal notes.

The story also points out that "ESOPs are not all that common. According to the National Center for Employee Ownership, just 6,482 U.S. firms were ESOPs as of 2019, including 174 in Indiana."

•  CTV News reports that, even as two Starbucks stores in the US have voted to unionize and three more are scheduled to vote on unionization, "Employees at a Starbucks in Calgary have applied for certification with the United Steelworkers — which is the first step toward unionizing.

"The Alberta Labour Board will now hold a hearing Jan. 28 so the employer can present any objections, then the 17 employees at a Starbucks in Chinook Centre will be able to vote whether they want to join.

"It needs a simple majority to pass, said United Steelworkers spokesperson Brett Barden, meaning at least nine of the 17 must be in favour."