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September 19, 2011

UFCW MEMBERS REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GROCERS

(Los Angeles, Calif.) – Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union working at Ralphs (Kroger), Vons (Safeway) and Albertsons (Supervalu) in Southern California reached a tentative agreement today with the companies.

The tentative agreement was reached after 8 months of negotiating and strong involvement and activism by the 62,000 grocery workers and widespread support of customers and allies across the region.  The UFCW is grateful to Scot Beckenbaugh, Deputy Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, for his guidance through the bargaining process.

UFCW members will vote on the proposals in meetings over the coming week. The agreement increases wages, protects health care and pension benefits throughout the life of the 3-year contract.

The new contract, once ratified, will cover 62,000 UFCW grocery workers, the largest bargaining unit in the UFCW.  An additional 28,000 grocery workers at regional chains like Stater Brothers, Food 4 Less, Gelson’s Market and other markets are covered by the successful resolution of the Southern California contract.  The contract covering 45,000 grocery workers in Northern California expires in October.

August 23, 2011

Southern California Bargaining Will Resume August 29

More than 65,000 grocery workers represented by seven UFCW local unions in Southern California have been in bargaining for over five months over core issues for the membership. Following an overwhelming vote by the members to authorize a strike, both parties – the UFCW local union leadership and the leaders of Safeway, Kroger and Supervalu – have agreed to schedule continuous negotiations beginning next Monday, August 29, 2011, in a final effort to reach a fair settlement.

August 1, 2007

Southern California UFCW Members Ratify Contract


Community-Worker Solidarity, Regional And National Support Win The Fight For Quality, Affordable Health Care And A Living Wage For All Workers

Washington, DC—By an overwhelming majority, grocery workers in Southern California represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) ratified a fair contract agreement yesterday with the country’s largest supermarkets: Kroger, Safeway, and Supervalu.

The contract was ratified by an overwhelming margin exceeding 87%, with extremely high membership attendance at the meetings throughout Southern California. All seven United Food and Commercial Workers Local Unions recommended that grocery workers ratify the contract.

UFCW members and their union leaders in Southern California fought long and hard through six months of negotiations for this contract, and it is a major improvement over the previous one.  The new four-year contract includes:

  • Elimination of the unfair “two-tier” wage  and benefit structure;
  • Wage increases ranging between $1.65 and $6 over the life of the contract;
  • All wages increases retroactive to previous contract expiration in March;
  • Increased contributions to secure pension benefits;
  • Significant improvements to all health care plans; and
  • Necessary funding for health care guaranteed through the contract.

UFCW members owe much of what they’ve accomplished to the solidarity and strength they showed in working together to bargain for a fair contract. Seven UFCW Local Unions in Southern California all worked together in bargaining and coordinating campaign actions and strategies.

Southern California UFCW members also owe their success to the extensive support of community and religious leaders, shoppers, sister unions and UFCW members nationwide throughout the six months of negotiations in their efforts to gain improved health care coverage and fair wages.

Coordinated action with supporters and customers played a pivotal role in gaining a positive settlement. Union members, community members, religious groups, grocery workers, and supporters knocked on thousands of doors, handed out flyers, sent emails and letters of support, wrote editorials, attended rallies and marches, spoke out in churches, and signed pledge cards supporting UFCW members.

“This contract is a major step forward for grocery workers,” said Pat O’Neill, UFCW International Executive Vice President and Director of Collective Bargaining. “But it never would have happened without the solidarity of the UFCW members and their union leaders in Southern California, along with the support of the community. It just goes to show that it pays to be a member of the UFCW.”

The new contract covers approximately 65,000 workers in Southern California. Elsewhere on the West Coast, about 18,000 UFCW members in Washington and Oregon are still fighting for a fair contract with their employers. Grocery workers in Northern California will begin bargaining for a new contract later this fall.

The coordinated effort in Southern California is part of a UFCW nationwide unity bargaining program. By supporting each other regionally and nationally, as well as engaging customers and community members in their struggle, grocery workers are improving grocery industry jobs for themselves and their communities. To learn more about other bargaining campaigns, go to: www.groceryworkersunited.org.
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July 18, 2007

UFCW MEMBERS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH NATIONAL GROCERS

Community-Worker Solidarity, Regional And National Support Win The Fight For Quality, Affordable Health Care And A Living Wage For All Workers

Washington, DC—Last night, over 60,000 grocery workers in Southern California represented by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) reached a tentative agreement with the country’s largest supermarkets: Kroger, Safeway, and Supervalu.

Details of the contract will be available Monday after workers vote on whether to ratify the agreement on Sunday, July 22.

Southern California UFCW members had the support of community and religious leaders, shoppers, sister unions and UFCW members nationwide throughout the six months of negotiations in their effort to gain improved health care coverage and fair wages.

“This contract goes a long way in maintaining good jobs with health care, wages that pay the bills, and a loyal productive workforce in the grocery industry that is good for workers, communities, and businesses,” said UFCW International President Joe Hansen.

Throughout the negotiations process, UFCW members demonstrated solidarity and strength in bargaining for a fair contract. Seven UFCW locals in Southern California all worked together in bargaining and coordinating campaign actions and strategies.

Coordinated action with supporters and customers played a pivotal role in gaining a positive settlement. Union members, community members, religious groups, grocery workers, and supporters knocked on thousands of doors, handed out flyers, sent emails and letters of support, wrote editorials, attended rallies and marches, spoke out in churches, and signed pledge cards supporting UFCW members.

The coordinated effort in Southern California is part of a UFCW nationwide unity bargaining program. By supporting each other regionally and nationally, as well as engaging customers and community members in their struggle, grocery workers are improving grocery industry jobs for themselves and their communities.

To learn more about other bargaining campaigns, go to: www.groceryworkersunited.org.

May 10, 2007

Statement by United Food and Commercial Workers International Union On Grocery Bargaining in Southern California

After seven months of unproductive negotiations with grocery employers, UFCW Southern California local unions left the bargaining table on Tuesday. The latest offer by the three grocery companies, Safeway, Kroger and Supervalu, was an insult to members, and left UFCW leadership with no choice but to break off negotiations.

The companies are trying to force another strike, like the work stoppage they caused in 2003 that put 60,000 UFCW members on picket lines for nearly five months and disrupted shoppers and communities throughout the region.

The three grocery giants have repeatedly denied members’ need for accessible, affordable health care, and living wages for all workers.  This despite the fact that all three companies have shown a recent rise in profits that analysts predict will continue to grow.

It would appear that Safeway CEO Steve Burd knows that workers need affordable, quality health care for themselves and their families.  That’s why he announced earlier this week that Safeway and nearly 40 other companies were launching the Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform (CAHR).  The UFCW applauds Burd and other CAHR participants as welcome voices to this important discussion.  We wish that all three grocery leaders would bring this commitment to the bargaining table.

UFCW members will be reaching out to consumers in Southern California and across the country to remind the grocery giants that their success is due to workers and shoppers, and that they need to show concern for their community and workers by reaching a fair agreement with Southern California workers.

Two grocery companies in Southern California, Stater Bros. and Gelson’s, settled fair contracts with UFCW members that included quality, affordable health care and living wages for all workers. That two regional supermarket chains can afford to offer their workers a fair contract proves that it’s possible to be profitable while still showing your workers respect.

If these regional markets can offer a fair contract, then surely Supervalu, Kroger, and Safeway — national supermarket chains that are currently raking in billions of dollars in profits — can do the same.

Southern California’s grocery workers, together with Stater Bros. and Gelson’s Markets, created a road map to a fair contract, a map that can be followed by the national chains. But instead of doing the right thing and partnering with the workers who helped them return to profitability, these national companies dragged out negotiations in an effort to keep their workers’ wages low and benefits out of reach for workers and families.

Southern California’s grocery workers are unified, and UFCW-represented grocery workers across the country are supporting them as well. But it’s time to end this drawn-out, dead-end negotiations process. With the support of the public, UFCW members can and will win a fair contract — even if means a long, difficult battle.

 

April 16, 2007

SUPERMARKET WORKERS NATIONWIDE CALL FOR GOOD JOBS AND AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE

WASHINGTON, DC — Grocery workers are standing up to protect good jobs with affordable health care in communities across the country. Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union in eight markets are holding store events today and sending a unified message to supermarket giants.

Supermarkets chains nationwide, like Supervalu, are refusing to agree to provide the affordable health care and living wages their employees deserve. Communities may end up paying the price, with taxpayers shouldering the burden of government paid health care.

Workers are taking action and reaching out to customers at Supervalu-owned stores in Southern California, Oregon, Seattle, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago, and Philadelphia.  Workers at Kroger stores in Toledo and Houston are bargaining with the company now and holding press events in solidarity with the national action.

UFCW members at Supervalu-owned stores – Albertsons, Jewel, Cub Foods, and Acme stores, are concerned about Supervalu’s bargaining agenda with workers in other markets.

“It’s really important that everybody throughout the country has decent contracts, with benefits and wages that allow them to support their families,” says Eileen Fonseca, a Supervalu-owned Acme worker and a member of UFCW Local 1776 in Philadelphia.

Albertsons (Supervalu) workers in Southern California were locked out by the company in a bitter five-month-long strike/lockout in 2003 and 2004.   Now, Albertsons (Supervalu) employees there have already voted to authorize a strike due to the company’s irresponsible position at the bargaining table.  The current contract expired last month.

“”I want to provide a good life for my family, and I work hard for my employer. Now that the employers are making such huge profits, I think they need to show grocery workers and our families the respect we deserve,” said Sharlette Villacorta, UFCW Local 770 member who works at Albertsons, in Los Angeles, Calif.

With more than 400,000 grocery workers at the bargaining table this year, UFCW members have launched Grocery Workers United – www.groceryworkersunited.com – as a clearinghouse for unity actions.

“We all do the same jobs, and we all work hard,” said Mike Newman, a Kroger worker from Toledo and member of UFCW Local 911.  “We just want to be able to pay our bills, and I think the community understands that. They know what you need to make a living wage here.”

The actions today are all part of a growing national unity bargaining movement among UFCW members working in the grocery industry.

This year, 400,000 UFCW members working the grocery industry will be negotiating contracts with their employers, seeking to improve jobs for all grocery workers. The UFCW represents 1.3 million workers, with nearly one million in the grocery industry.

January 23, 2006

UFCW Statement on the Albertsons Sale

The UFCW welcomes the sale of Albertsons to the SuperValu-led consortium,  and stands ready to play a positive role in making the new management team successful in serving the interests of workers, shoppers, and shareholders.
The union believes all Albertson’s stakeholders can derive benefit from the sale and will actively engage in behalf of that end.
UFCW local unions will continue to aggressively enforce union contracts.
The UFCW represents 110,000 Albertson’s employees nationwide.