Members of UFCW Local 5 who work at CVS store number 9554 in San Mateo, Calif., recently ratified a first contract that provides better wages and a voice in the workplace.
The ratification took place nearly one year after UFCW Local 5 was certified by the National Labor Relations Board as the bargaining representative of the store’s 15 workers after they voted in favor of union representation.
For many of the employees at the store, the wait for union representation was even longer.
“We wanted the union when workers at all CVS stores in the Bay Area had the opportunity to join Local 5 several years ago, but our store missed out by one vote,” said Bonnie Armanino who has been with CVS for 23 years and is a new Shop Steward. “This time we were on a mission, we kept everybody together, didn’t get discouraged and finally got the contract that we deserve.”
While the most compelling issue was rates of pay according to Armanino, job security was at stake as well. When a 30-year employee at the store was fired for a minor violation of company policy, UFCW Local 5 representatives took on her case and even though a contract was not yet in place, and successfully got her reinstated to her former position.
“That was a great example of what union representation means to us,” Armanino added. “Now we have this protection and job security in writing which is so important with a major company like CVS.”
These new members join their colleagues at more than 75 of the company’s stores throughout the Bay Area that have unionized with UFCW Local 5. The UFCW represents over 12,000 CVS workers nationwide.