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UFCW Local 293 Members Ratify New Contract With JBS

JBS-Beef-300x218UFCW Local 293 members working at the JBS beef slaughter and processing facility in Omaha, Neb.,  ratified a new contract on Thursday, September 4. The new five-year agreement went into effect on Monday, September 8 and will cover more than 300 workers in the plant. The contract in Omaha follows another contract ratification back in July by UFCW Local 293 JBS members at the Grand Island, Neb., plant.

“We are all excited about another great contract for our members and the local economy,” said Dan Hoppes, President of UFCW Local 293. “Thanks to the support and unity of UFCW members from across the country, we were able to negotiate another contract that raises the bar for JBS workers. This plant was formerly owned by XL Foods until JBS bought it in 2013. Now under a union contract with JBS, these workers will see significant improvements in their benefits and health care. ”

The new contract will:

  • Provide a $1.80 hourly increase over the course of the contract.
  • Provide a $0.60 per hour increase in the first year which will be paid retroactively to the original contract expiration date, July 6, 2014.
  • Maintain affordable health care costs for employees with only minor plan changes.
  • Establish a primary health care clinic in Omaha which means flexible, easily accessible health care to JBS employees with no cost for primary care (checkups, some treatments, minor procedures, and lab work) and low cost prescriptions and immunizations.

The UFCW represents JBS workers at several other locations around the country. Along with Grand Island, Neb., workers have ratified contracts in Worthington, Minn., Greeley, Colo., and Souderton, Pa. UFCW Local 227 JBS workers in Louisville, Ky., reached a tentative agreement last week.

UFCW Members in Southern Calif. Ratify New Agreement with Food 4 Less

Food-4-Less-300x200Members from UFCW Locals 8GS, 135, 324, 770, 1167, 1428, and 1442, have ratified a new three year agreement with the grocery chain Food 4 Less. The previous contract expired June 8 and workers were prepared to take a strike vote if necessary.

The agreement covers more than 6,000 grocery workers at 100 Food 4 Less stores. The new contract increases wages, protects pension plans, and maintains affordable healthcare.

Members reported that during negotiations, the company was pushing for changes that would undercut worker rights, including cutting the number of full-time jobs and cutting funding for healthcare expenses. Food 4 Less dropped its demands after seeing that employees were standing strong against any changes that could hurt workers.

Through social media, UFCW Local 135 President Mickey Kasparian credited the ratified contract to the “unwavering solidarity” of the membership, and thanked customers and the public for supporting Food 4 less workers during their contract campaign.

“Thanks to the support of consumers and our members’ resolve, we have reached a tentative contract deal that protects employees’ wages, hours, and health care. We would not have been able to accomplish this without the backing of the public and all our members,” said UFCW Local 770 President Rick Icaza.

Food 4 Less, owned by Kroger Co., was the last grocery chain in Southern California to reach a deal on a new contract. UFCW members have recently ratified contracts with all the major grocery operators in Southern California including Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons, Stater Brothers, Gelsons, and Super A.

UFCW Local 1776 Workers at JBS Ratify New Contract

JBS-1776-300x225This week, JBS workers in Souderton, Pa., overwhelmingly voted to accept a new five-year contract. The contract covers more than 1,100 workers.

Negotiations for a new agreement began last December. UFCW Local 1776 members bargained in solidarity for affordable health care and fair wage increases.  Many members participated in various chain activities leading up to ratifying the new contract.

“This year we have more people active and involved and taking part in the process.  We worked together to be effective and to work to satisfy all workers,” said Michelet Felix, UFCW Local 1776 JBS worker.

The five year agreement, which will expire in August 2019, includes affordable health care for employees and their families and significant wage increases for the full term of the agreement along with additional bonuses in the first year.  The agreement includes workers in two different units, the JBS slaughter and processing beef plant and the nearby JBS rendering facility.

Wendell W. Young, IV, President of UFCW Local 1776, said that the vote “can be accredited to the solidarity between UFCW members.”

Young continued: “There is no doubt that the strength and solidarity amongst the workers played a tremendous role in securing this contract. That solidarity stretched from JBS workers in other UFCW plants here in the United States to the global solidarity shown by union JBS workers in Brazil.  JBS workers recognize the value both chain and global unity has in achieving what they deserve.”