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Peapod Stocker Awarded Back Pay After Being Unjustly Disciplined

Marcia Williams was awarded full back pay after being unjustly sent home from her job at Peapod in Hanover, Maryland.

Marcia Williams’ husband calls her every day during her 30-minute break, just to check in and see how her day is going. “Because he loves me,” she says. Marcia has worked as a stocker for Peapod for almost three years and according to shop rules, she’s allowed to have her phone with her on the floor. She can even listen to music with one earbud, but phone calls must take place in the break room.

One day in March, Marcia wasn’t watching the clock and realized that she had worked ten minutes into her break when her phone rang. She answered as she hurried toward the break room, explaining to her husband that she had missed the start of her break and she would call him back as soon as she got to the break room.

She looked up to see her supervisor watching her. “I wasn’t even on his time, I was on my time,” she says, but even after explaining the situation to three different supervisors, Williams was sent home for the remainder of her shift.

“So I said, I’ll call my union rep,” she says. “I’ve worked at a job that had a union before and I knew I wasn’t wrong.”

And she also knew that her representative, Aretha Green, would do everything she could to win her case. “She’s good,” says Marcia. “She will even walk the floor. She is on her job, everybody likes her.”

Aretha immediately got to work and filed a grievance. In less than a week, Marcia received notice that she had won her case and would be receiving back pay for the hours that she should have been working.

To ensure the problem didn’t happen to anyone else, Aretha went even further. She worked with Peapod to completely rewrite the cell phone policy to include a progressive discipline process. Progressive discipline is the idea that disciplinary action taken against you by your employer must gradually increase in severity. The new policy requires supervisors to first issue a warning before taking more drastic action. An employee cannot be suspended or sent home until they have been warned at least once, and an employee can’t be terminated without first having been suspended.

Progressive discipline is a cornerstone of union workplaces and ensures everyone is treated fairly. If she hadn’t been a union member, Marcia would have had no recourse. But thanks to her union contract, Marcia was awarded back pay for unjustly being sent home. It’s just another one of the reasons a union contract is the best protection you can have on the job.

Local 400 Members Ratify New Contract at Peapod

Local 400 members working at Peapod, the grocery home delivery service from Giant Food, unanimously ratified a new union contract last night.

The new collective bargaining agreement increases wages and holiday pay and improves working conditions for more than 200 members of Local 400 working at the facility in Hanover, Md. The four-year contract is in effect until May 31, 2021.

Active Ballot Club Winner from Peapod!

 

Alvin McCole, Peapod worker (right) with this Local 400 staff representative, John Lee. Photo courtesy of John Lee.

Alvin McCole, Peapod worker (right) with this Local 400 staff representative, John Lee. Photo courtesy of John Lee.

Local 400 member Alvin McCole from Peapod recently won the Active Ballot Club (ABC) Contest, receiving a $250 gift card as a “thank you” for participating in the UFCW’s political action committee.  When Alvin was presented with his certificate, he looked down and then back at his Local 400 staff representative, John Lee, and said, “Wow, now I can get the iphone 6 plus, thank you so much.”

This political action committee aims to help make the voices of working families heard in election campaigns. ABC supports pro-worker candidates and incumbents from all political parties. It is the only political action committee dedicated to advocating for and protecting the interests of UFCW members.  For more information on how you can join ABC visit the UFCW website

Peapod Ratifies Four-Year Agreement

peapod

Photo by Karlyn Williams.

On July 3, Local 400 members working at Peapod ratified a four-year collective bargaining agreement that improves the lives of 213 members working at the Maryland facility. The agreement maintains their health and welfare benefits and retirement security, while increasing their total compensation by an average of $1.65/hour over the life of the contract. In the negotiations, the Local 400 bargaining committee defeated all proposed concessions. Instead they added Joint Labor Management (JLM) language to improve management/member relationships by having an open forum to discuss workplace issues.