14-Month agreement overwhelmingly ratified
WESTBURY, NY (12/24/2013)(readMedia)– United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1500 members from Stop & Shop and King Kullen Supermarket overwhelmingly ratified new collective bargaining agreements with their employers. The new collective bargaining agreement will cover over 8,000 men and women across the New York metropolitan area for 14-months, dating retroactively on September 29, 2013 through December 6, 2014.
Throughout the over three-month negotiation process, high cost mandates from the Affordable Care Act were often noted as the most difficult hurdle to overcome. “Both negotiating committees did an excellent job. We were able to come under compliance with Affordable Care Act mandates and still achieve affordable coverage for Full-Timers with no paycheck deductions, and maintain dental, vision and affordable health coverage for Part-Timers,” said UFCW Local 1500 President, Bruce Both, “While many retail companies like Trader Joe’s, Home Depot and Walgreen’s have cut health insurance for their part-time workers and pushed them to inferior plans on exchanges, our contracts secured affordable health plans for all workers,” Both concluded.
Norman Checkers, a UFCW Local 1500 member for over 30-years and a member of the union’s negotiating committee for King Kullen Supermarket said, “We have the best new contract in the industry out there. We went the extra distance during these negotiations,” Checkers explained, “We defended our Pensions and Welfare, and we were able to increase hours for Part-Timers. We will be prepared to do the same next year.”
The agreement secured all employees’ pension plans, increased hours for all part-timers, and provided multiple wage increases over 14-months to all members.
Due to the short length of the agreement, the union has already started the process of mobilizing members at both Stop & Shop and King Kullen in preparation for negotiations in the coming months.
The previous agreement with Stop & Shop expired on Sept. 28, 2013 and was extended twice until November 2, 2013. Since then, 6,000 New York Stop & Shop workers from the East End of Long Island to Rhinebeck, in upstate New York, have been working without a contract.
The previous collective bargaining agreement with King Kullen Supermarket expired on Sept. 28th and was extended four-times, the latest extension was set to expire on Saturday, December 21, 2013, before a tentative agreement was reached on December 18, 2013.
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, based out of Westbury, New York, represents over 22,000 grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Members of Local 1500 are employed by Pathmark, Fairway, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, D’Agostinos, Key Food, Shop Rite and King Kullen.