Local 400 members working at Safeway and Giant stores throughout the region voted to ratify new union contracts today.
We didn’t get everything we wanted, but both contracts include several key improvements over our previous collective bargaining agreements, including:
- Higher starting pay
- More frequent wage progression increases
- Wage progression increases by months of service, instead of by number of hours worked
- No cost increases to employee health insurance
- A plan to secure our pension
For the past 40 years, Giant and Safeway have jointly negotiated union contracts with us, but this year, the companies negotiated separately. While the companies were more divided than ever, we stuck together as Safeway and Giant union members. Thanks to your support in the stores, we successfully rejected proposals by both companies to decrease our pay, increase our costs, or make us work longer for less.
Without your support, we would not have been able to defeat any of the company’s proposals or win any of our new gains. By participating in store actions, by engaging your customers and your community, you made it clear to both companies that we would not accept a bad contract.
We’re proud of the gains we’ve made, but we know it’s not everything we deserve. In order to get a strong contract, we must have a strong union. Those of us that sit across the table from Giant and Safeway negotiators know firsthand that it is our power in the stores, not the arguments we make in negotiations, that makes progress possible. If we want to continue to make gains in our contracts, we must continue to build our strength as a union.
Let’s continue to stand together, let’s continue to build our union, and let’s keep up the fight every day to get what we deserve.