Union for 141,000 California Food & Retail Workers Secures Strong Contract with Pay Raises, Increased Hours, New COVID Health & Safety Committees at All Food 4 Less Grocery Stores Statewide
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), the union for 141,000 California food and retail workers, announced that a new contract has been approved for 7,000 California frontline grocery workers at Food 4 Less and FoodsCo supermarkets throughout Southern and Central California. The UFCW union grocery workers voted overwhelmingly to approve the new Food 4 Less and FoodsCo contract this past week.
UFCW 770, the local union for the Los Angeles-area grocery workers covered by the contract, announced that the new agreement is the best deal ever for Food 4 Less grocery workers across California. Here are key points in the new contract:
- Pay increases of up to $1.65 over the 3 years of the contract
- Match larger pay increases at Ralphs grocery stores in upcoming contract renewal
- Bonuses between $150-$500 for most workers
- Increase in guaranteed hours for part-time workers
- Additional vacation time for senior employees at each store
- Scholarship fund access for Food 4 Less workers that Ralphs workers already have
- Health and Safety Committee at every Food 4 Less grocery store to address COVID risks that have impacted both workers and shoppers.
California Grocery Worker Blanca Padilla, who has worked at Food 4 Less for 30 years: “We’ve gone through a lot during this pandemic. This contract is pretty good and is a step in the right direction in our struggle to improve wages and benefits. Me and my coworkers will continue fighting to raise the standards at Food 4 Less. I’m also committed to joining my fellow grocery workers in the upcoming master food contract campaign with Kroger.”
California Grocery Worker Elena Gonzalez, a cashier at a Food 4 Less in Bell Gardens: “This is a good contract for Food 4 Less workers. We pushed to raise the bar and won better pay and hours, and we will continue to fight for what we deserve, and for Kroger to recognize us as equal to Ralph’s workers. We also refused to allow the company to negatively affect our pension and healthcare benefits. As a covid survivor, these benefits are very important to me and my family.”
UFCW 770 Secretary Treasurer, Kathy Finn: “This contract fight has been historic and it is a workers’ victory. Food 4 Less members were actively engaged in the bargaining process. Despite all the challenges faced throughout the pandemic, UFCW 770 members were able to speak up about the changes that they needed to make. This contract is an important step towards our goal of reaching the kind of member participation and worker power necessary to achieve truly transformative contracts.”
UFCW is the largest California labor union for frontline grocery workers and represents a total of 141,000 California workers statewide.
This new Food 4 Less contract covers approximately 7,000 grocery workers at nearly 100 grocery stores across 9 counties throughout California. These grocery workers are represented by the following local unions:
- UFCW Local 5 – in the San Francisco Bay Area
- UFCW Local 135 in the San Diego area
- UFCW Local 324 in the Orange County area
- UFCW Local 770 in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties
- UFCW Local 1167 in the San Bernardino County area
- UFCW Local 1428 in the Claremont area
- UFCW Local 1442 in the Inglewood area
- UFCW Local 8-GS in the Central California region
UFCW 770 represents about 2,500 members in 37 stores in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties.
The previous Food 4 Less contract expired in June of 2020 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was extended until March 2021. UFCW local unions led negotiations for these 7,000 grocery workers and talks started on January 6, 2021.The new Food 4 Less contract will expire on June 8, 2024.
UFCW Local 770 represents over 20,000 grocery workers in Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Overall, the union represents roughly 31,000 members in the retail food, retail pharmacy, meatpacking and food processing, laboratory, and cannabis industries.