Negotiations: Successes in 2016 and Challenges Ahead in 2017
In 2016, we were successful in negotiating some very important contracts:
- Master Food Agreement covering Albertsons/Vons and Ralphs – Ratified on August 8, 2016, this new 3-year agreement protected the members’ health care and retirement benefits while providing substantial wage increases to both senior and newer members. In addition, this Agreement provides a full week’s notice of the work schedule – a substantial improvement over the three days notice required in the expired Agreement.
- Gelsons, Stater Brothers, Red Shell, Vicente Foods – Once the Master Food Agreement was settled, these other grocery store Agreements were also settled with substantially similar wage and benefit packages.
- Super A - Super A members also ratified a new 3-year agreement that protects health care and retirement benefits and provides substantial wage increases. Unfortunately, Super A is the only remaining independent chain operating in areas of the city where their competition is mostly non-union. As a result, the union had to make some compromises to reduce some operating costs on Sundays to make sure that Super A remains in business.
- Food Pharmacy Agreement covering Pharmacists in Grocery Stores – Ratified in October 2016 after a long struggle, this Agreement also protects the Pharmacists’ health care and pension benefits, provides wage increases, including a retroactive wage increase of $2.00 per hour, and increases scheduling notice to a full week.
- Farmer John Agreement – Ratified on August 17, 2016, this historic 2-year Agreement brings union solidarity, strength and fairness back to Farmer John workers after struggling for years under a system where workers could receive union representation without paying their fair share. This Agreement provides significant pay increases to most classifications while also guaranteeing workers the fundamental right to use the restroom when needed, restoring the use of frozen sick leave banks, and strengthening worker involvement in the health and safety committee.
- Baker Commodities Agreement – Ratified in October 2016, this 3-year Agreement protects current health care benefits, improves pension benefits, and provides increases of at least 3% each year of the Agreement for all classifications. In addition, the Company agreed to a new boot allowance and faster accrual of vacation for new employees.
In 2017, we will have to tackle a number of challenging negotiations as well:
- The Food 4 Less Agreement covering close to 3,000 Local 770 members as well as members of other UFCW Locals throughout Southern California expires June 4, 2017. In 2014, we learned that the Kroger Company, owner of both Food 4 Less and Ralphs, is not always willing to follow the pattern set in the Master Food Agreement. If that happens again in 2017, we are prepared to mobilize an aggressive contract campaign to improve the livelihoods of our Food 4 Less members.
- The CVS Agreement covering both Clerks and Pharmacists expires June 30, 2017. For the Clerks, this will be our first opportunity to negotiate a new contract since we organized hundreds of new stores in Southern California. Wages that keep pace with the increasing minimum wage in California and some municipalities as well as affordable health care in our newly organized “B” stores will be our priorities. These goals may also require an aggressive contract campaign and significant membership involvement.
We also have a number of packinghouse agreements set to expire this year:
- The Cenveo/Nashua Agreement covering a small group of paper processing and printing members expires April 1, 2017.
- The Goldberg & Solovy Meat Agreement and Poultry Agreement expire April 24, 2017.
- The Overhill Agreement covering several hundred food processing members expires September 15, 2017. These negotiations could present new challenges as well because this Company was recently purchased by CP Foods, a large food conglomerate from Thailand,
- The Roger’s Poultry Agreement covering about 100 members also expires later this year on October 1, 2017.
We have a number of challenges ahead in 2017 but we can succeed by preparing for negotiations early and planning aggressive contract campaigns with significant member involvement. If the members stand together, they can achieve successful contracts that protect their livelihoods.
Red Shell Members Ratify 3 Year Contract
We are pleased to announce that Red Shell members, who prepare sushi inside of Gelsons' stores, have ratified a new three-year agreement that protects their health care and retirement plans, and provides wage increases each year of the agreement, including a retroactive wage increase back to the expiration of the old agreement.
Red Shell Negotiations Update - November 14, 2016
A tentative agreement has been reached with your employer. Local 770 has scheduled a vote meeting where we will explain the offer and give workers an opportunity to either accept it or reject it. If you cannot attend this meeting, please notify your Union Representative:
DATE/TIME: Monday, November 21, 2016 at 7 p.m.
LOCATION: Hilton Los Angeles/San Gabriel
San Antonio Room
225 West Valley Blvd., San Gabriel 91776
All UFCW LOCALS Recommend Acceptance
*Chinese Translation of English Meeting Notice:
地點： Hilton Los Angeles/San Gabriel
San Antonio Room
225 West Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, CA 91776
Pharmacy Negotiations Update - November 9, 2016
Pharmacists successfully voted to ratify a contract with Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons for the term of March 7, 2016 - March 3, 2019.
These were long and difficult negotiations. We did not achieve everything we wanted but we did force your companies to agree to much higher wage increases than they expected. We achieved an initial increase of $2.00 per hour with retroactive pay and full funding of your medical and pension benefits.
Those who agreed to rescind your alternative work schedule agreements and those who petitioned outside your stores played a significant role in achieving a retroactive wage increase of $2.00 per hour and a total wage increases of $4.00 per hour in 3 years. Management was surprised and concerned by the overwhelming solidarity of the Pharmacists and agreed to the increases only after hearing of your united action.
We were not successful in our efforts to increase staffing in the pharmacies in this contract. We intend to continue fighting for better staffing and are working with our allies in the State Government in an effort to implement a legislative solution to this problem. We will continue to keep you informed of our progress in this effort. Please contact your Union Representative if you have any questions.
Super A Members Ratify Contract - October 27, 2016
We are pleased to announce that Super A members have ratified a new three-year agreement that protects their health care and retirement plans and provides wage increases all three years of the agreement. The union also made some compromises that reduce operating costs on Sundays to help Super A, the only remaining independent chain, compete with their mostly non-union competition. Please contact your Union Representative if you have any questions.
Gelsons Members Ratify Contract - October 25, 2016
We are pleased to announce that Gelsons members have ratified a new three-year agreement that protects their health care and retirement plans, improves notice of scheduling, and provides wage increases all three years of the agreement, plus retroactive wages back to the expiration of the old agreement.