Latest Update: 7/28/16
Since January our union has been trying to negotiate a new contract for our members in the six Pick Quick Key Food stores. These negotiations have been slow, very difficult and sometimes intense. Our Union has had a long-standing relationship with the Pick Quick Key Food Company but this long-time partner in employee-labor relations is now showing a very different face this time around. Pick Quick Key Food operates six stores located in Brooklyn (3), Queens (1) and Nassau County (2). Management has adopted a take it or leave it bargaining strategy this time and didn’t even provide the members written proposals for the first number of meetings.
Pick Quick Key Food currently employs over 400 Union men and women but they are currently in the process of selling their biggest and most profitable location in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Although they may be a small chain of six stores it doesn't mean they are unprofitable or unsuccessful. As a matter of fact, with Pick Quick Key Food, it’s quite the opposite.
Here are a few of the company’s latest contract proposals:
- Reduced Paid Time Off and Holiday premiums for all new workers
- Longer probationary periods for new hires
- Take away Sunday premiums for all part-timers with less than 2 years
- Withdraw from the Defined Benefit Pension Plan and offer a 401K
- Start high weekly Health Care contributions for all workers
Some members of the management team have been holding captive audience meetings throughout Pick Quick Key Food’s stores and ‘informing’ UFCW Local 1500 members of the benefits of withdrawing from our pension program. Although the offer of a 401K program may sound attractive to some members, until ALL of the facts have been explained it’s an insult to say it’s the same thing. The main benefactor to a change like that is the owner, period.
“I love working here,” said Union negotiating committee member Debbie Gernand. “I love my customers. We all love our customers. We’ve watched many of their families grow up before our eyes. We’re a part of the community in these stores. That’s what makes these negotiations so difficult.”
“We understand that the company wants to change and adopt a new strategy, but to my knowledge our company isn’t struggling,” said Gernand. “They have proposed some really tough things this time. Taking away premiums for new part-time workers, including Sunday pay, is a real game changer for future employees. They want to take us out of the Pension plan, a plan we depend on as we look toward retirement. On top of these cuts, they want us to pay high weekly contributions for health care and take bonuses as opposed to raises. It’s just really hard to swallow“
What you can do:
- Tell the workers inside the stores you support them
- Share the support video on Facebook and other social networks
- Contact Howard Lipman, Vice President: 718-296-9100 ext. 112 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know that your friends and neighbors deserve their pension!