News and Updates
January 28, 2019
UFCW Local 152 members at Reed and Perrine in Tennent, New Jersey, ratified a new contract on Jan. 18 that improves wages and benefits.
With the new, three-year contract, Reed and Perrine members will now receive a wage increase each year for the lifetime of the contract. The new contract also includes health care contributions by the company, as well as an increase in the maintenance of benefits and pension contributions over the life of the contract.
UFCW Local 152 represents about 10 members at Reed and Perrine, who are employed as mixers, material handlers, truck drivers, and warehouse workers. Founded in 1916, Reed and Perrine has grown from a small regional supplier to a Northeast supplier shipping from Maine to Georgia to Chicago, offering products such as fertilizers, road salts, and landscaping supplies.
January 15, 2019
UFCW Local 152 members who are employed by CRS Facility Services and work at the Philadelphia Mills Mall ratified a new contract on Jan. 4 that raises wages and improves benefits. The CRS Facility Services workers provide janitorial and groundskeeping services for the mall, which is located in northeast Philadelphia and has over 200 stores.
The new three-year contract includes wage increases for each year of the agreement, and enhanced bereavement leave. The agreement also includes the addition of pants to the uniform allotment provided by the employer, and seniority rights for job protection in case of sickness.
January 4, 2019
Members of UFCW Local 663 who work at grocery stores in the Brainerd Lakes area in Minnesota ratified a new contract on Dec. 6 that builds better lives for more than 400 families. The three-year contract covers UFCW Local 663 members who work at Quisberg’s Cub Foods in Baxter and Brainerd, Super One in Baxter, and at Miner’s Super One in Crosby.
The new contract includes a Variable Annuity Pension Plan (VAPP), which is a defined benefit pension design where the accumulated benefit accrual is adjusted up or down each year based on an investment hurdle rate of 5.5 percent. Members will transition benefit accruals from the current defined benefit plan to the VAPP beginning in January 2019. A VAPP is attractive to workers because it reduces investment risk and offers an upside in terms of benefit improvements. Employers like VAPP because the design limits their liability.
“Securing the pension was a priority for me because it secures the future for everybody in this industry. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mike Insley, who is a member of UFCW Local 663 and is employed as a grocery manager at Cub Foods in Brainerd. Insley has been in the industry for 35 years.
The new contract also improves wage scales for all members and includes increased wages for full- and part-time positions for top of scale and over scale each year of the contract.
“It’s important to me that we fought for and won higher wages, as my family and I depend on it,” said Sandra Livingston, who is a member of UFCW Local 663 and is employed as a cashier at Super One in Baxter.
Under the agreement, all eligible workers will enjoy a secured employer commitment to pay the increased true cost of the health and welfare plan, as well as improved treatment and new and improved language to protect workers in the workplace. The new and improved language includes respect and dignity in the workplace; victim, witness, and domestic abuse leave; and two-week schedules that give members more established expectations and opportunities to better plan out their lives.
“Our members lead the way to better benefits for their families and a higher quality of life for all,” said UFCW Local 663 President Matt Utecht. “A rising tide lifts all boats. We’re proud to work side by side with our Brainerd Lakes retail grocery members and elevate the industry while doing so.”
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.”