Standing Together.

 


By: Tony Speelman

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At our Shop Steward’s Seminar in October, my message to the Stewards was the same as all Local 1500 Executives.  Stand together.  Stop & Shop and King Kullen negotiations are ongoing as you read this column, and as expected the billion-dollar employer Stop & Shop is attempting to tighten their grip even further on our union contracts.   Even scheduling dates for negotiation sessions were long dragged out process.  The company approached us with one date they were available for negotiations.  Finally after tremendous pressure from us, they succumbed and we have been meeting throughout the month of November.  My point is everything from scheduling negotiations, to actual negotiations is difficult with Stop & Shop. 

We aren’t surprised and we don’t expect you to be either.  Stop & Shop’s recent negotiations history with the UFCW is frustrating.   Just take a look at this chart below:

Local Union

Expiration Date

Status

1262

July 2013

18 months without a contract

338

March 2015

?

1500

December 2014

Currently in negotiations

342

October 2014

No contract, currently in negotiations

This chart does not and is not intended to bash our brothers and sisters in other Locals throughout our area, but it is intended to shed a light on how difficult this company makes the negotiation process, and how little urgency they exhibit when there are thousands upon thousands of jobs on the line. 

While negotiations with Local 342 and Stop & Shop are going on with at the same time as ours, keep in mind that if there is a possible stop work action between Local 342 and Stop & Shop, our contracts allow us to stand the line with our brothers and sisters from Local 342.  We do not have to cross the line.  I am not saying it will come to this, but we are all aware it’s quite possible when negotiating with Stop & Shop.   

 My message is clear as always.  Communicate with your union. 

Do not believe or buy into company propaganda, which includes rumors heard throughout the store.  Do not back down; stand up for your union and your coworkers.  Stop & Shop’s plan is to divide us and take away our solidarity.  Our job as union members is to stick together to demand more from our employer.  The only way we can do this is with full commitment from every member.  Negativity, double guessing and bad talking the negotiation process is doing no good, it’s just what Stop & Shop wants to hear.   

This holds true for all members who aren’t working at Stop & Shop or King Kullen, we’re all in this together and we all need to stick together.   Last year we saw hundreds of Local 1500 members volunteer to support Stop & Shop workers if a potential work action would occur, and I expect the same for this round of negotiations.   That feeling of solidarity is special.  I get goose bumps just writing about the selfless actions of fellow UFCW Local 1500 members who are willing to stand up for their brothers and sisters.
Please enjoy a safe and healthy holiday season.   As always my door is open to speak to anyone who has any questions or comments.  You can always tweet me @Aspeel1500.  


 

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