News and Updates
October 29, 2010
When: Wednesday Oct. 27th 1:30 p.m.
Where: March begins at 111 Zeta Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15238
After several months of feeling intimidated and threatened by managers, Giant Eagle employees have had enough. Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 23, joined by a number of community organizations, will march on the corporate headquarters, to deliver support post cards signed by fellow employees at 36 stores, to say enough is enough.
“”We have the right to talk about our union, with our co-workers, with other Giant Eagle employees, with anyone we want to. This is America and we don’t check our free speech rights at the door when we take a job with Giant Eagle” said Deborah Wieloch, an employee at the Shady Side Market District Store.
Weiloch was arrested in September when she, on her day off work, went to the Waterfront Giant Eagle to talk to employees on break about their contract and other union issues. UFCW Local 23 filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board over the incident.
Weiloch’s arrest came as part of what employees see as a wave of anti-unionism on the part of Giant Eagle.
“We’ve been told we can’t wear buttons, we’ve been told not to talk about our union, we’ve been threatened with arrest or worse, being fired,” explained Jim D’Alessandro. “It isn’t right. They are infringing on our right to free speech and violating our nation’s laws that ensure we have a right to organize and be organized. Our contract even gives us the right to talk about our union during work.”
The members of UFCW got tired of harassment from management and started a postcard campaign to tell Giant Eagle they are tired of it.
While corporate Giant Eagle has pressured workers to remain silent and tried to keep their actions out of the press, workers have received tremendous support from allies and the public.
Along with a delegation of several dozen UFCW Local 23 members taking the cards to the corporate headquarters, community groups will be on hand to show support, including ACTION United, NAACP, Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network, Pittsburgh UNITED, and others. A number of UFCW Local 23 members will be dressed as the Founding Fathers, complete with wigs and costumes, to reinforce the message that free speech rights are guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
June 28, 2010
(Pittsburgh, Penn.) – Late last Friday, thousands of Giant Eagle supermarket workers from Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia ratified a new contract with Giant Eagle. Highlights of the agreements between the members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 23 and Giant Eagle include:
- Substantial hourly wage increases over the four-year contract;
- Higher pay rates and vacation benefits for newly hired workers;
- Increased quality and access to affordable health benefits; and
- Strengthening of retirement security for all workers.
Ratification of the contract stands to benefit Giant Eagle, the workers that have made the company a market-leading success, and communities around Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.
“UFCW Local 23 members were facing a number of issues in these negotiations but our membership came together. The new contract is a testament to our solidarity and union spirit,” said Tony Helfer, UFCW Local 23 President.
UFCW Local 23 members mobilized like never before to inspire customers to support Giant Eagle, a local supermarket company, and to stand with its workers. With a number of Giant Eagle franchise stores in the area where workers are not afforded the same rights and benefits as the UFCW Local 23 members, workers plan to take the energy and momentum from this bargaining process to work toward raising standards across the company.
The contract covers approximately 5,800 employees at 36 Giant Eagle Stores in Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia and will be in effect until June 28th 2014. UFCW Local 23 represents a total of over 13,000 members in West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.