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Local 400 “Save My Store” Campaign Aims to Prevent Job Losses During Potential Corporate Merger

20160412-Fredericksburg Save My Store Town Hall - 9 20160412-Fredericksburg Save My Store Town Hall - 14On March 15, following the shareholders’ approval of a merger between Ahold and Delhaize, the parent companies of the grocery chains Giant Food, Food Lion, and Martin’s, employees at eight stores in Maryland and Virginia were informed that their stores may be sold as a result of the merger.

With the future of so many jobs at stake, Giant Food employees launched the “Save My Store” campaign the following week with a press conference and a petition to Ahold/Delhaize which is steadily gaining thousands of signatures from employees and customers.

The campaign also hosted a series of four town halls in the communities surrounding the threatened stores to bring together employees, customers, elected officials and other leaders to do whatever it takes to keep quality jobs and shopping options intact. So far, representatives of Ahold and Giant Food, who were also invited to attend the town halls, have refused to respond.

Following the town halls, the next phase of the campaign will be a rally and march to Giant’s corporate headquarters on May 11th.

To learn more about the campaign, and how you can support these hard-working men and women, visit SaveMyStore.org

20160412-Fredericksburg Save My Store Town Hall - 11

President Obama, Flanked by UFCW Member, Pushes to Expand Overtime Pay

President Obama ordered the Department of Labor to expand federal rules so that more salaried workers would be able to qualify for overtime pay. Currently, any salaried employee making more than $455 per week is not required to be given overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week.

The current $455 per week salary threshold has failed to keep pace with inflation. It was $250 in 1975, equivalent to roughly $1,000 today. This expansion will give millions more workers across the nation the chance to earn extra pay when they do extra work.

UFCW Local 400 member Rob Trotter (standing in back with blue shirt and glasses) stands by as President Obama orders an expansion so more salaried workers qualify for overtime pay.

UFCW Local 400 member Rob Trotter (standing in back with blue shirt and glasses) stands by as President Obama orders an expansion so more salaried workers qualify for overtime pay.

UFCW Local 400 member Rob Trotter, a meat cutter at Giant in Annandale, Virginia, stood next to President Obama as he signed the memorandum.

“I have worked in retail for over 20years for an hourly wage,” he said. “I have depended upon overtime to pay school tuition for my children, or to get out from under a financial hardship. The opportunity to earn overtime has always been helpful and comforting to me.”

It is not yet clear by how much the salary threshold will increase. The President’s order instructs the Department of Labor to come up with an expansion plan following a period of input and study. With the stagnation of wages and the increase in corporate profits, actions like this give workers a better chance to provide for their families.

“There have been years when 20 percent of my income was comprised of overtime,” Trotter said. “Going above and beyond expectations at work takes a toll physically because you’re working harder and emotionally because you’re away from your family for a longer period of time. Every employer should fairly recognize and reward this sacrifice.”

Giant and Safeway Workers from UFCW Locals 27 and 400 Ratify New Contract Today

Giant and Safeway grocery workers from UFCW Locals 27 and 400 voted to ratify a new contract yesterday. The new contract will cover more than 22,000 grocery workers in the Northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland area.

UFCW Local 400 Giant and Safeway grocery workers gathered at the D.C. Armory and voted to ratify a new contract.

UFCW Local 400 Giant and Safeway grocery workers gathered at the D.C. Armory and voted to ratify a new contract.

“We have showed the company we are strong and this contract reflects that,” said UFCW Local 400 Giant worker Maria Gomez.
The ratification votes follow a tentative agreement reached last week after the previous contract was extended twice.

Addressing Safeway workers at the voting, UFCW Local 400 President Mark Federici said,“Thank you to the membership for your patience in this bargaining process, especially in these complicated bargaining times. The strength and solidarity you and your brothers and sisters at Giant have shown to be powerful and instrumental in the bargaining talks.”