News and Updates
October 10, 2018
UFCW Local 400 is using the recent ratification of the Kroger contract, which raises wages for approximately 3,700 Kroger employees in 22 stores in the Richmond and Hampton Roads areas in Virginia, as a platform to increase membership in union and nonunion Kroger stores in the area.
Over the past few months, a team of UFCW Local 400 members who work at Kroger, Safeway and Giant stores in Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., have had member-to-member conversations with over 8,000 nonunion Kroger employees at the 22 stores about the value that comes with joining our union family. This team is now highlighting the new contract wins, including wage increases, protected health care and retirement benefits, bonuses for the most experienced associates and premium pay for select positions in the stores. To date, the sign-up campaign has generated over 900 new members and a few of the 22 stores have increased membership to over 60 percent.
UFCW Local 400 has also added a union wage calculator and online authorization card to the BetterKroger.org website as part of their campaign to reach Kroger workers in seven nonunion stores in Virginia. Under the new Kroger contract, every associate at a nonunion store in Virginia – no matter how much they make now – would make more money if they were unionized. With the union wage calculator, Kroger workers can punch in their current pay rate, classification, and worksite and calculate how much their wages would increase if they joined UFCW Local 400. To further assist Kroger workers who want to join our union, the online authorization card allows workers to sign up for union representation easily and confidentially. Once a majority of workers at a Kroger store sign cards online or on paper, the store will unionize under the current contract.
“In addition to all of the other benefits of a union contract, now Kroger associates in Virginia can learn how much more money they would make by joining our union family,” said UFCW Local 400 Communications Director Jonathan Williams. “It truly pays to belong.”
June 25, 2018
The four-year contract includes wage increases for every year of the agreement, a continuation of no health care benefit cost-sharing by members, and pension contributions by the company to maintain the current benefit level.
Case’s Pork Roll is a family-owned business best known for their flavorful pork roll found in Local 152 union stores, including ShopRite’s private label brands.
June 11, 2018
Hundreds of health care workers gathered outside of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in Washington on June 6 to educate the public about the need for better contracts. The workers, who are members of UFCW Local 21 and employed as nurses, as well as professional and technical staff, were joined by community members and elected officials at the informational pickets, which took place at both the Pacific and Colby campuses.
After months of negotiations, the workers are demanding that management address staffing problems by recruiting and retaining the highest quality health care professionals, and giving front line health care professionals a real voice in establishing safe staffing levels. They are also asking for management to ensure job security so that they can continue to provide quality health care service. The contract for the nurses at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett expired last October, and the contract for professional staff expired in March. The contract for technical staff expires this month.
Two registered nurses at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett reflected on the power of standing together for better contracts.
“Today was about solidarity. It was about unity, it was about power,” said Sue Woodard. “We are fed up with management and we want to get the contract settled. They know what it’s going to take. The ball is firmly in their court.”
“I hope management understands that we are serious about staffing issues,” said Bill Hisaw. “Not just for RNs, but for all of the people who work here. This is a house-wide issue that needs to be addressed in our contracts.”
June 11, 2018
UFCW Local 152 members from the Hanover Foods processing plant in Ridgely, Maryland, unanimously ratified a new contract on May 1 that provides new benefits. The five-year contract includes wage increases, the opportunity for senior members to train for higher paying jobs, and a minimum increase to the health care contribution.
Hanover Foods Corporation is the largest fully integrated and independent food processor in the United States, and the 40 workers process sprouts and frozen vegetables.
June 4, 2018
RWDSU/UFCW Local 108 nursing home workers at The Woodlands Genesis health care facility in Plainfield, New Jersey, recently ratified their first union contract. The workers joined RWDSU/UFCW Local 108 in April 2017, and the strong union contract was ratified by 100 percent of the membership.
The new agreement includes a 60 percent reduction on their contributions to the health plan, a 2 percent wage increase for members under five years of service, and a 2.5 percent or more increase for members over five years of service depending on the shift. The agreement also includes shift and weekend differentials, as well as four extra holidays: Martin Luther King’s birthday, Memorial Day, Easter and a floating holiday.
May 29, 2018
The new contract includes better wages and health care. The three Safeway pharmacy technicians joined UFCW Local 7 last August because they wanted to join the rest of their coworkers for a voice in the workplace. The Safeway store in Douglas is now wall-to-wall union.
May 7, 2018
Over 300 members of RWDSU/UFCW Local 220 who work at Mott’s in Williamson, New York, ratified a new contract by an overwhelming margin in April. The Mott’s workers produce iconic household products, including Mott’s applesauce, apple juice, and the Clamato beverage, among others.
The hard-fought contract includes strong hourly wage increases over the next five years, reduced health care costs and job security provisions that will protect the members well into the future. In 2010, Mott’s workers went on strike in the face of unacceptable contract provisions offered by the company. Despite it all, they were able to win a fair contract. This time, negotiations lasted just seven weeks and workers were able to secure one of the strongest contracts in their history.
“The workers at Mott’s proved years ago that if you stand up for what you believe in and you stand united that you can protect and advance the needs of working people,” said RWDSU/UFCW President Stuart Appelbaum. “This contract is one of the best that we have ever negotiated at Mott’s and we are proud of the members for sticking together. Once again, they have set an example for workers everywhere.”
“Our member-driven negotiations team worked tirelessly to secure a strong contract for all 300-plus Mott’s workers,” said President of RWDSU/UFCW Local 220 Jerome Camp. “I am proud of our team, our work and our new contract. To see how far we’ve come in just under a decade to secure one of our strongest contracts shows the real power of RWDSU Local 220 and I couldn’t be happier to return to work shoulder to shoulder with our team under this new contract.”
March 12, 2018
Local 653 Members at Supervalu Cub Foods, Kowalski’s and Independent Grocers in Minnesota Ratify New Contracts
On March 4, members of UFCW Local 653 who work at Supervalu Cub Foods, Kowalski’s Markets and independent grocers approved multi-year contracts with their employers that build better lives for more than 4,000 families in the Twin Cities.
Benefit highlights include the creation of an industry-wide groundbreaking Variable Annuity Pension Plan (VAP). Employees from Supervalu and the independent grocers will transition benefit accruals from the current defined benefit plan to the VAP beginning in January 2019.
Workers at Kowalski’s who qualify for the 401(k)-retirement program will continue to receive contributions that were negotiated between the union and the company. These include full-time contributions from $1.85-$4 an hour and part-time is $1.35 an hour.
Employees at Supervalu Cub Foods have agreed to a five-year contract. Employees at Kowalski’s have agreed to a three-year contract, as well as employees from Haug’s (Cub), Radermacher’s (Cub), King’s Andover, Jubilee Foods in Mound, Oxendale’s and Driskill’s. Employees at Almsted’s Fresh Market and Knowlan’s Festival Foods have agreed to a two-year agreement.
All of the contracts provide wage increases for all workers. Both part-time and full-time workers at Supervalu Cub will receive raises each year of the five-year contract. The average wage increase over the three-year contract for all workers at Supervalu is $8,582.03.
Additional economic highlights of the contract include improved quality of part-time positions at Supervalu and Kowalski’s, including three weeks paid vacation after eight years, six paid national holidays, paid bereavement, and Jury Duty leave. Additionally, Supervalu will provide ancillary benefits to all part-time workers that include dental, vision, life, accidental death and dismemberment insurance.
All eligible workers will enjoy a secured employer commitment to pay the increase true cost of the Health & Welfare plan across contracts.
The total worker compensation of the Supervalu contract is over $102 million in the first year alone.
All workers covered under the approved contracts will enjoy improved treatment and worker protections in the workplace with new and improved language, including respect and dignity in the workplace, bereavement leave for domestic partners, victim, witness, and domestic abuse leave, student seniority, and automation language that gives notice to employees and training opportunities if any technology will be implemented in the store.
“One of the things that sticks with me is that all of the agreements added respect and dignity in the workplace language. That language levels the playing field for workers, and affirms we are the most valuable asset. I’m proud of that,” said Elizabeth Johnson of Kowalski’s in Uptown.
“I’m inspired by our members today who said yes to improving the quality of their livelihoods and future. We’re continuing to build better lives for our retail grocery members and elevate the industry while doing so,” said UFCW Local 653 President Matt Utecht. “The Variable Annuity Pension Plan is the vehicle to reach the retirement security that our members earn and deserve. Together, we’re leading the industry in pension solutions that establish the goal of a dignified retirement.”
March 12, 2018
The three-year and four-month agreement raises starting wages to at least $10 per hour and accelerates wage progressions to $11 per hour after one year of service. The agreement also includes affordable health care, and continued investments in the workers’ pension fund.
“UFCW Local 75 strives to negotiate contracts that secure better wages and affordable benefits, providing a voice for hard-working men and women and strengthening our communities, and this contract does those important things,” said UFCW Local 75 President Kevin Garvey.
March 5, 2018
On Feb. 25, 1,600 members of UFCW Local 653 who work at Jerry’s Enterprises, Inc. grocery stores in Minneapolis and nearby suburbs ratified a new three-year contract that includes better wages and benefits. Jerry’s Enterprises operates 13 Cub Foods, two Jerry’s Foods, and Richfield Rainbow Foods stores.
Melanie Millner, a deli manager at Minneapolis Lake Street Jerry’s Cub said, “I’m proud of the working relationship we have as a union with Jerry’s. I’m excited to see the results of higher wages with my coworkers. I know it will bring better morale and retention in our stores and it is going to make a difference in families’ wallets.”
Both part-time and full-time workers at Jerry’s will receive raises each year of the contract.
The contract improves the quality of part-time positions, and includes increased take home pay, as well as three weeks paid vacation after eight years, six national holidays, bereavement leave, jury duty, and ancillary benefits that include dental, vision, life, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance.
Workers will also enjoy a secured employer commitment to pay the increased true cost of the Health & Welfare plan.
“The Health & Welfare we negotiated is a substantial savings to our families, especially the way health insurance costs are rising nowadays,” said Bill Jensen, a meat cutter at Elk River Cub Foods.
Employers will contribute a union negotiated rate into a 401(k) for eligible employees. These include full-time contributions from $2 to $4 and part-time is $1.35 an hour. UFCW Local 653 has also secured two plan trustees.
Workers will enjoy improved treatment and worker protections in the workplace with new and improved contract language that addresses respect and dignity in the workplace, bereavement leave for domestic partners, victim, witness, and domestic abuse leave, student seniority, and automation language that gives notice to employees and training opportunities if any technology will be implemented in the store.
“I’m really happy that language around respect and dignity is now a part of our agreement. Hard working families come first, and I’m glad that language reflects our shared values,” said Nate McClerin, part-time Deli worker at West Broadway Cub Foods.
“I’m proud our members with Jerry’s voted yes to building better lives for themselves and their families. A sincere thank you to our union bargaining committee who worked together with Jerry’s. Together with the recent Lunds & Byerlys contract, we continue to improve the quality of life for working families in Minnesota,” said UFCW Local 653 President Matt Utecht.