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Bloomingfoods Workers Ratify Their First Union Contract

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Workers at Bloomingfoods Co-op in Bloomington, Ind., have voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first union contract as members of UFCW Local 700.

Bloomingfoods workers successfully negotiated a contract that ensures fair wage increases, a process for resolving workplace issues, and a voice for all workers in the cooperative.

Following an accelerated, fair election process marked by company neutrality and community involvement, Bloomingfoods workers voted last November to form a union. About 250 workers across five Bloomingfoods Co-op grocery stores and a commissary became UFCW Local 700 members.

“Bloomingfoods is part of what I love most about Bloomington,” said Casie Jetter, a Bloomingfoods commissary worker. “I want the co-op to remain strong and successful so that my daughter can some day shop at the same co-op that has remained a staple in our community. Bringing a union to Bloomingfoods will put our co-op one more step ahead of competition in an increasingly competitive market.”

Workers at Cannabis Club Collective Approve First-Ever Washington State Contract

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Workers at the Cannabis Club Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary in Tacoma, Wash., have approved the first-ever union contract for cannabis workers in Washington state and have joined UFCW Local 367. The vote to approve the contract was unanimous, and sets a new standard for cannabis workers in Washington.

“We’re going to set a high bar for our industry with a contract that’s fair to both workers and to owners,” said Tim Moisio, a four year employee and member of the bargaining committee. “Cannabis jobs should be good, family-supporting jobs and our contract ensures that.”

The three-year contract includes regular raises, affordable health insurance, paid vacations and sick leave, as well as seniority and grievance protections. It also will include a pension plan to guarantee secure retirements beginning in 2017.

“Workers have rights regardless of the industry they are in,” said UFCW Local 367’s President Denise Jagielo, “we look forward to working with the members at Triple C, and other dispensaries, to protect their wages and benefits, and to create a safe work environment.”

“The whole process has been outstanding,” said Moisio. “We’re looking forward to standing together in our union for years to come.”

UFCW Local 1500 Grocery Workers Ratify New Contracts

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UFCW Local 1500 members have ratified new agreements with Stop & Shop and King Kullen Supermarkets. The new contracts were ratified on Thursday, April 16th, and they cover more than 8,500 grocery workers across New York. The agreements provide wage increases and secure benefits for both full-time and part-time workers and protect medical and pension plans. The agreements also include a no discrimination clause that protects all UFCW Local 1500 members from any discriminatory acts regarding race, gender, sex, or sexual preference.  The contracts will also increase weekly and Sunday hours for more part-time workers, and added new premiums for certain union members.  They also provide vision, legal, and dental benefits for both full and part-time  members.

The previous contracts expired on December 6, 2014.  Since then, members have been on  monthly renewing extensions with the companies. Each contract is effective December 7, 2014 through December 30, 2017.

“I’m proud of our negotiating committee, it’s our best agreement in years,” said Andre Phillips, a steward at Stop & Shop in Brooklyn. “We were able to maintain our current pension and medical benefits, something the company fought hard throughout negotiations to take away from us.  That’s an important benefit to me, it lets me plan for my future.”

The contracts also increased contributions by King Kullen and Stop & Shop to the UFCW Local 1500 scholarship fund.  The union annually awards over $27,000 of scholarships to UFCW Local 1500 members and their dependents.

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