UFCW members stood together to negotiate strong, new contracts this year, including thousands of hard-working men and women who work for our major grocery employers. Grocery industry ratifications included Stop & Shop in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut; Smith’s Food and Drug in New Mexico; King Soopers in Colorado; Fred Meyer and QFC in Oregon and southwest Washington; Kroger in Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas, Houston, Indiana and Ohio; Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions and Stater Bros. in Southern California; and Schnucks in Missouri.
Some members celebrated the benefit of having a first union contract, including health care workers in New Jersey and Washington; cannabis workers in Ohio, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Illinois; and coffee baristas in Pennsylvania.
Members of UFCW Local 3000 who work at the Providence Regional Cancer System RadiantCare Radiation Oncology in Aberdeen, Lacey, and Centralia, Wash., ratified a first union contract in March that raises wages and improves workplace protections. The 23 workers are employed as radiation therapists, as well as registered nurses, dosimetrists, patient care coordinators, and licensed vocational nurses.
The four-year contract includes wage increases ranging from 2 to 20 percent, which was reflected in April 15 paychecks. This contract is also the first to achieve placement onto a wage scale dependent on years of service versus a minimum percentage increase, which resulted in higher wage increases compared to other newly organized units. On top of guaranteed wage increases, the bargaining team was able to win workplace protections, including a grievance process and a lay-off procedure. In addition, the contract includes language pertaining to health benefits, the retirement plan, differential pay and successorship.
“After years of inequality in pay, we will finally be compensated accordingly for our years of service through our first contract,” said bargaining team members Kelly Covington, Branden Raftery, Paul Lofing and Winter Everson. “We are proud of our first contract!”
In September, Jordy Vargas and other members of UFCW Local 1776KS who work at five Coffee Tree Roasters shops in Pittsburgh ratified a first union contract that increases wages and improves benefits. These workers joined our union family in February.
The three-year contract includes wage increases and parity. The contract also includes seniority rights, guaranteed hours and scheduling changes, a grievance procedure, an overtime provision, a trainer premium, and a 401(k) savings plan.
“Not only is this a huge win for us with the increase in wages and electronic tips, but I know many of us will feel much more comfortable at work knowing that we have protections in place,” said Vargas. “I’m so proud of the work we did and hope that we continue to see more union campaigns in the service industry. We want everyone to know it’s possible to unionize your workplace.”
Here are the negotiating articles that appeared in OnPoint this year: