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Local 1529 Wins Class Action Grievance

11753661_1018043588240210_3605881755881610952_nThe following was shared by UFCW Local 1529:

UFCW Local 1529 prides itself on making sure that all of its members are taken care of when it comes to their benefits, wages, and insurance. Wages are a big part of why all our hardworking members come to work–so they can provide for themselves and their families.

During the early part of 2015, UFCW Local 1529 filed a class action grievance on 1/26/15 for a violation of wages in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between The Kroger Company and UFCW Local 1529. The CBA clearly states that any employee that has previous work history with the Kroger Company and is re-hired or any supermarket represented by UFCW with previous comparable experience will be given full work experience credit on the wage scale.

This part of the CBA was not being honored, as some Local 1529 members who had left Kroger at a top rate of pay were being re-hired, but The Kroger Company would start them off at minimum wage. This became a normal practice for the company until quite a few members started to come forward with their wage issues. The outcome was a Re-Hire Class Action Grievance against the Kroger Delta Division which affected all bargaining unit employees. As a result, UFCW Local 1529 and the Kroger Company agreed to put a posting in all stores for one month. Over 100 people responded to the posting to Kroger Human Resources and UFCW Local 1529’s business agents. After the month came to a close, UFCW Local 1529 turned all names over to Kroger Human Resources and as of right now members have been paid back pay amounting to $68,946.54.

The leadership of UFCW Local 1529 knows the importance of every line of language in the contract and how they affect all members. If the union and the Work Experience Credit language was not in place, the Local 1059 members would not have been paid correctly nor would they have received back pay. Just another example of how unions are protecting and serving as the collective voice of workers!

Member Spotlight: Kristen Clark, Meijer Grocery Store

KristinSometimes the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference. It’s not easy to be personable, upbeat, and polite every day and all the time doing any job, but that’s what’s expected out of cashiers to give great customer service. However, Kristen Clark, a UFCW Local 75 member, who works as cashier at an Ohio Meijer grocery store went the extra mile with customer Kimberly Grandinette and her 3 year-old son Paul proving that a small act of kindness can have a great effect on more than just those who shared the moment.

Last Sunday, while checking out her items, Kimberly conversed with Kristen about her family’s recent hardships that had begun to have effect on 3 year-old Paul. The two continued to chat while Kristen rung up the rest of Kimberly’s items until Paul asked if he could join Kristen in ringing up the rest of his mother’s groceries. Kristen then picked up Paul and held him while he helped scan the rest of his mother’s items.

Kimberly Grandinette detailed the story in a Facebook post about how much that act of kindness meant to her and her son Paul. “She made him feel like a million bucks. He skipped out of the store with a smile on his face,” the mom wrote. “Thank you, Kristen, for making my son’s day (and my day!) a bit brighter.” Since that Sunday, Grandinette’s Facebook post has touched the lives of so many others and gathered more than 144K likes, 10K shares, and 3.6K comments on Mejier’s Facebook Page.

Kristen’s own parents saw the post of their daughter and shared their elation with and thanks to everyone who shared their daughter’s story. “That’s my wonderful daughter, I’m so thankful for her taking the time to make his day because that’s how she is and I’m thankful for you to notice. Happy holidays to you and your family,” wrote her mom, Diane. Her father, Carl, added “That’s my daughter. I’m am so proud of her. #prouddaddy.”

 

Although Kristen admits that she was initially surprised by how much attention the story received, she said that way she interacted with Kimberly was ordinary in her day’s work. “I try to engage with my customers,” she said. “I like to get to know people. Even if it is just for three minutes” as they’re checking out.

Since then, Kristen has received recognition as an “incredible” Meijer employee from her store spokesperson, Christina Fecher. “This is another reminder that compassion and kindness go a long way, because kindness is contagious. (Pass it on!)”

Dolores Huerta Joins Grocery Workers’ Unfair Labor Practices Strike at El Super

  • Workers at the Latino grocery chain strike in response to current violations of their rights under U.S. labor law.
  • Grocery employees are joined by human rights legend Dolores Huerta at an El Super Store in Los Angeles.
  • Today’s action comes one day after 19 members of Congress called on the Obama administration to uphold international labor standards at El Super.

DOLORES H STRIKE Los Angeles, December 16—With signs held high and chants ringing across store parking lots, El Super workers at seven locations in Southern California went on strike over recent unfair labor practices (ULPs). The strikers, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), are protesting violations of their rights and U.S. labor law requiring the company to bargain in good faith. They were joined by labor and human rights legend Dolores Huerta at a rally in front of the grocer’s location on E. Gage Ave. in Los Angeles.

“The fight El Super workers are engaged in is the same fight that the farm workers have historically fought for: the right to belong to a union, the right to bargain in good faith, and the right to industry labor standards, which means wages that can sustain their families. I stand with El Super workers and their campaign to win respect in the workplace and dignity for their families,” said Huerta, longtime champion for labor rights and co-founder of the United Farm Workers union.

Yesterday’s strike, was launched to protest recent ULPs at the chain.  El Super’s conduct is the subject of charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board within the past week, including surface bargaining, repudiation of terms El Super unilaterally implemented nearly a year and half ago as part of it’s “last, best, and final” contract offer, and unreasonable delay in providing information crucial to effective negotiations.

El Super union members have been working without a contract since September 2013. In the face of court action and an NLRB trial, the company returned to union negotiations in August of this year, after over a year and half absence. They came back, however, to engage in bad faith bargaining in violation of federal law.

Flora Castaneda, an El Super cashier on strike to get the company to meet its legal obligations, said, “Reaching a union contract with the company is much more than a legal document to me, my family and my coworkers.  It is my hope that if the company bargains in good faith we can sign an agreement that would ultimately allow me a holiday season where I’m able to make dinner for my family and buy some little presents for my kids. I think if the Company bargains in good faith we can reach an agreement that will enable us to able to go to the doctor when we are sick, save for our children to go to college, and have enough money at the end of the month to afford food and rent.  It means we will have protection from the company’s retaliation against union supporters.”

“El Super’s disregard of workers’ rights and of labor law is shameful,” said UFCW Local 770 President Ricardo Icaza. “We will continue to stand together against this company’s lawless stonewalling of the bargaining process, and be with the workers until El Super comes to the table to negotiate in good faith for a contract where workers have the wages, benefits, guaranteed hours and respect that they have earned.”

In addition to the recent charges filed with the NLRB that prompted this strike, the NLRB recently issued a complaint against the company for additional unfair labor practices.

The UFCW and allies have also filed simultaneous complaints under the NAFTA labor agreement and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines to stop El Super and its parent company Grupo Chedraui’s attack on workers’ rights in the United States and Mexico. On Monday, 19 members of Congress representing districts with El Super store locations called on the Obama administration to expedite investigations into the complaints’ allegations.

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Sign Letter to El Super CEO: www.BoycottElSuper.org

Like: http://facebook.com/justiceforelsuperworkers