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Stop & Shop Workers Ratify New Contracts

Stop & Shop Workers Ratification3 Stop & Shop Workers Ratification2 Stop & Shop Workers Ratification

Last week, the hard-working men and women of Stop & Shop in New England ratified new contracts with their employer by an overwhelming majority. The contracts cover 35,000 union members represented by UFCW Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445 and 1459.

The new contracts secure wage increases for all the men and women whose hard work has made Stop & Shop a successful and profitable company. In addition, the new contracts will help new full-time employees earn a family-supporting wage of $15 an hour more quickly. By negotiating together, the five local unions were able to secure a commitment from the company to increase the total number of full-time jobs by 480 over the next three years.

These contracts demonstrate the ways that union members work in collaboration with management to solve problems in the workplace. These contracts establish the first Labor-Management Committees at Stop & Shop, giving employees and management a forum to come together to make Stop & Shop a better place to work and shop. The men and women of Stop & Shop were also able to work with the company to design a new scheduling system that will ensure working families have their schedules two weeks in advance.

The New England Council of the UFCW made the following statement after the contracts were ratified by membership:

“The UFCW has a long history of working in partnership with Stop & Shop to ensure that people who work hard in these stores can earn better wages and a better life. Today, by standing together, our members ratified contracts that will continue that tradition.

“These contracts are a powerful measure of what our union family can truly achieve when hard-working men and women come together and stand together. This is also a victory for Stop & Shop customers, whose support throughout our negotiations sent a powerful message that they value employers and companies who treat their employees and their families right.

“Over these many long days and weeks, as we have worked hard to negotiate a better life for our members and their families, our New England bargaining committee has drawn real strength from the support of their customers, their communities, and our entire UFCW family who have stood with us. We will never forget what you have done for us, and we look forward to seeing you in our stores with an even bigger smile.”

Wedge Co-op Workers Ratify First Union Contract

Wedge Co-Op Members

On April 5, workers at the Wedge Community Co-op in Minneapolis voted to ratify their first union contract, becoming the first unionized co-op in in the state of Minnesota as members of UFCW Local 1189.

In November of 2015, workers at the Wedge Community Co-op, also known as ‘The Wedge,” overwhelmingly voted in favor of joining UFCW Local 1189.  Workers were concerned about issues ranging from just and fair wages to maintaining the co-op values in an environment that many workers believed was becoming more corporate. The process was fairly smooth, and both sides came to the bargaining table with the goal of a fair contract.

“The Wedge’s willingness to honor their workers’ desire to have a union and a fair union contract sets them apart from all other co-ops in the state,” said Jennifer Christensen, secretary- treasurer of UFCW Local 1189. “Sustainability is not just about the food we eat, but also the workers who provide that food to us. Unlike Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and their ilk, who masquerade as conscientious employers, The Wedge is the real deal, and the union contract proves it.  A local, ethical, responsible employer, the Wedge and its union workers deserve your support.”

The warehouse for The Wedge, Co-op Partners Warehouse (CPW), joined Local 1189 in 2012 and paved the way for the retail store to organize by negotiating neutrality with the employer.  Workers at The Wedge and CPW are setting the standard for the co-op industry.

El Super Must Provide 549 Workers with Back Pay as Labor Dispute Continues

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ordered the El Super grocery store chain to pay 549 current and former employees a total of $363,000 in back pay. The NLRB began mailing letters notifying affected employees of the forthcoming payouts late last week. The payouts are part of an agreement the company signed to settle unfair labor practice charges that the vacation rights of El Super workers, who are also members of the UFCW, were violated by the company.

“El Super UFCW members are about to see the benefit of working together with their union,” said UFCW Local 770 President Ricardo F. Icaza.

There are 319 current El Super employees due to receive back pay totaling $255,694.38, and 230 former employees are to receive $108,052.49.

In July 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted the NLRB’s petition for a preliminary injunction that prohibited Bodega Latina Corp., El Super’s parent company, from making unilateral changes to its vacation policy.

One month later, Bodega Latina agreed to settle unfair labor practice charges filed by the UFCW that claimed that the company’s unilateral changes to the vacation policy violated their federally protected labor rights. Under the terms of the settlement agreement with the U.S. Government, El Super agreed to restore the company’s vacation policy, and eliminate unilateral changes that required employees to work at El Super a year before they were eligible for annual leave benefits.

Fermin Rodriguez, an El Super cashier and member of the UFCW Local 770 negotiating committee, said, “This is a significant victory, but we are still fighting to win fair wages, a 40-hours guarantee for full-time workers, stronger seniority protections, adequate paid sick days, dignity and respect!”

Mr. Rodriguez was reinstated to his position at El Super #13 in South Los Angeles as a part of El Super’s agreement to settle charges that his termination in January 2015 violated his right to speak out in support of his union.PHOTO 4