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Members Lead Fight for Maryland Earned Sick Leave Bill

A team of Local 400 members played a pivotal role in winning passage of the Healthy Working Families Act in Maryland.

Local 400 Shop Stewards Darlene Butler-Jones and Bill Osborn had never gone to Annapolis to meet with their state legislators, testified before the Maryland General Assembly or spoken out at rallies before. So when they were asked to help lead Local 400’s campaign to pass the Healthy Working Families Act, they were a bit taken aback. But after four months of working full-time to make paid leave a right for all Maryland workers, they were fired up and thrilled with the results.

“I wouldn’t trade it for a dime,” said Darlene, who is a meat cutter at Giant #347 in Largo. Bill, a dairy clerk at Giant #339 in La Plata, echoed her sentiments, saying, “It was a really enriching experience.”

Darlene, Bill and three of their Local 400 brothers and sisters played a pivotal role in winning passage of the legislation by a 29-18 vote in the Senate on March 16 and an 87-53 margin in the House on April 7. The bill would allow full-time and part-time workers at Maryland employers with 15 or more employees to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to five full days per year for full-time workers, benefiting more than 510,000 Marylanders who are currently unable to earn paid sick leave.

Darlene Butler-Jones (left) poses for a photo with a fellow Local 400 member. Darlene was part of a team of union members gathered support for the Healthy Working Families Act in Maryland.

For Darlene, this was personal. “When I started work at Giant 20 years ago, I was widowed with young children,” she said. “I had no sick leave. When my children came home with bumps and bruises or when they got sick, I had to choose between their health and my paycheck. That’s a position no one should ever be placed into.”

Bill Osborn testified about the challenges the single mothers he works with face. “I see them struggle when their kid is sick,” he said. “If they can’t take their kid to day care, how do single parents make it if they don’t have paid leave?

“It’s only fair to have paid leave,” Bill said. “Employers owe it to their employees.”

Darlene and Bill were invigorated by their experience. “It’s been very educational because I’ve learned a lot—I didn’t know how long and tedious it is to get a law passed,” Darlene said. “But it’s rewarding, too—you get to meet people from all walks of life telling their stories. You realize how sick leave and a higher minimum wage means so much and makes people better citizens and more productive workers.

“Today, I can tell my 12-year-old granddaughter, ‘When you go to work, you’ll have paid sick leave, and you can know that your grandmother and her friends were a part of making that happen,’” she said.

“From the very first day, the first rally in Annapolis, we learned the process,” Bill said. “We encouraged our members to support the bill. We canvassed door to door in certain areas. We sat in on a lot of the committee meetings and legislative sessions. Each of us testified and talked about how it affected us.

“It was so satisfying knowing we were there from right at the beginning to all the way when the bill was sent to the governor,” he said. “It was inspiring and it motivated me to be more involved in other bills and to take steps in our union to help others understand the process.”

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has threatened the veto the Healthy Working Families Act. Darlene, Bill and the three other team members are mobilizing public pressure on Hogan to sign the bill, but if he vetoes it, they’ll fight to get the House and Senate to override his vetoes. If no senator and delegate changes his or her vote, then the override will be successful and the bill will become law.

“If he vetoes it, I’ll be right back doing this all over again,” Darlene said.  “Without a doubt. Call me and I’ll be there.

“Each and every Local 400 member should get out, stand up for themselves, learn about politics and don’t be afraid to talk,” she added. “That’s the real lesson of this experience.”

Meet the Shoppers Contract Action Team

Contract Negotiations Update #2

We are your Shoppers Contract Action Team! We are store associates who have volunteered to help mobilize our coworkers to take action for a better contract at Shoppers.

The only way we will win a better contract is if we all stand united, stay informed, and take action together. We must show Supervalu that we are united for a fair contract at Shoppers and we are willing to do whatever it takes to get the deal we deserve.

Over the coming weeks, we will invite you to take action with us to keep the pressure on the company to negotiate a fair contract. If you see one of us in your store, don’t hesitate to talk to us, ask us questions, or make suggestions. We want to hear from you. We need your ideas and we need your participation to succeed. If you know a coworker that hasn’t signed up, encourage them to take part in the process by becoming a union member. Sticking together is the only way to get the best deal for all of us.

Sign Up for Text Alerts

As we negotiate our next union contract with Giant and Safeway, we’re committed to keeping you informed every step of the way. By signing up for text alerts, you’ll get the latest updates immediately!

To sign up, just text SHOPPERS to 698-329.

Your wireless provider’s message and data rates may apply – you may opt out any time by texting STOP to 698329.

Print the Flier (PDF)

Nearly 1,000 Employees Sign Petition to Supervalu CEO Demanding Fully Funded Healthcare

We did it!

In only a matter of days, we gathered nearly 1,000 signatures from Shoppers Food & Pharmacy employees on a petition to Supervalu CEO Mark Gross demanding the company fully fund our health and welfare benefits.

We have earned our benefits. Our union contract requires the company to contribute to a fund as much money as is necessary to pay for our benefits. Supervalu has made it clear that we must fight to protect what we have.

Last week, in a powerful display of unity, we formed small delegations at dozens of stores throughout the region and delivered the petition signatures to managers on Friday, May 17.

But this was about more than health care. By standing united and demonstrating our ability to work together, we have shown the company that we are willing to fight for the fair contract we deserve.

As we negotiate our next contract with Shoppers, we know we have a tough road ahead. We know the company will try to do everything it can to reduce labor costs and take money out of our pockets.

That’s why we must remain united for a fair contract. Last week was only the beginning. We must continue to take action together to get the deal we know we deserve. In the coming weeks, we will have many opportunities to demonstrate our unity. Let’s take every opportunity to prove to Supervalu we are determined to get the deal we deserve.

Sign Up for Text Alerts

As we head into negotiations with Shoppers, we are committed to keeping you informed every step of the way. Sign up for text alerts to get the latest updates immediately.

To sign up, text Shoppers to the phone number 698329.

Your wireless provider’s message and data rates may apply – you may opt out any time by texting STOP to 698-329.

Having trouble signing up for text alerts?

It has come to our attention that some of our members who use certain wireless providers (Sprint, Boost Mobile, and T-Mobile) are unable to sign up for text message alerts. Your cell phone plan may not permit you to subscribe to our text messages. If you’re having trouble signing up, call your wireless provider to see if your plan is eligible for keyword text messages.

Let’s Show Shoppers We Are United for a Fair Contract

Local 400 members at Shoppers Food & Pharmacy stores are gathering signatures on a petition to the CEO of Supervalu.

Contract Negotiations Update #1

Thanks to all of our Shoppers members who took the time to fill out our contract survey and to those of you who made it out to one of our recent contract meetings. Thanks to your input, we developed clear priorities together for bargaining our next Shoppers contract with Supervalu.

While no one can guarantee the outcome of contract negotiations, and no one can make promises, we have clear proposals for what we hope to achieve in our next contract:

  • Increase wages
  • Eliminate the hours threshold for raises
  • More holidays + PHs + vacation days
  • Maintain health benefits, improve dental and vision coverage
  • Protect our pension and retirement security

We know we have a tough road ahead. Supervalu will do everything it can to reduce labor costs in our next contract and take money out of our pockets. But we know we deserve better – we’ve earned it.

We must stand united for the contract we deserve. Our membership is strong, and sticking together as a union family is the only way we will win a better deal.

To demonstrate our strength and unity, we are circulating a petition to Mark Gross, the CEO of Supervalu, demanding the company fully fund our health and welfare benefits.

Thanks to your work, hundreds of Shoppers associates have already signed the petition. If you haven’t added your name, talk to your shop steward or download a copy of the petition below. We must show the company that we are willing to do whatever it takes to get the fair contract we’ve earned.

Sign Up for Text Alerts

As we head into negotiations with Shoppers, we are committed to keeping you informed every step of the way. Sign up for text alerts to get the latest updates immediately.

To sign up, text Shoppers to the phone number 698329.

Your wireless provider’s message and data rates may apply – you may opt out any time by texting STOP to 698-329.

Print the Petition

May 11 & 16: Shoppers Contract Meetings

What do you want in your next union contract?

In the coming weeks, a team of your coworkers at Shoppers and Local 400 staff will begin negotiating our next union contract with Shoppers Food & Pharmacy. But first we need to hear from you!

Join us for an upcoming union contract meeting to help us to shape our strategy and prioritize our goals for contract negotiations. Your input will help us put together proposals well in advance of the actual contract negotiations, and it will help us fight hardest for the things you and your coworkers want most.

Thursday, May 11, 2017
6-8 pm
American Legion Falls Church Post 130
400 N. Oak Street, Falls Church, VA  22046

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
6-8 pm
UFCW Local 400, 1st Floor Meeting Room
8400 Corporate Drive, Landover, MD 20785

Please plan to attend either one of these contract meetings. Both meetings will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. You should receive a card in the mail inviting you to the meetings. We need to hear what YOU want to see in your upcoming contract, so make sure to be there!

Never Miss An Update: Sign Up for Text Alerts

As we negotiate our next union contract with Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, we’re committed to keeping you informed every step of the way. Sign up for text alerts and you’ll never miss an update!

To sign up, text Shoppers to 698-329.

Please note: Your wireless provider’s message and data rates may apply – you may opt out any time by texting STOP to 698-329.

Print the Flier (PDF)

 

Work at Shoppers? Complete the 2017 Contract Survey

By Illegitimate Barrister (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

What do you want in your next union contract?

In the coming weeks, we will begin negotiating our next union contract with Shoppers Food & Pharmacy. Please help us put together our proposals for the upcoming negotiations by completing our 2017 Contract Proposal Survey.

Your responses will help us put together proposals well in advance of the actual contract negotiations, and it will help us fight hardest for the things you and other members want most.

Click here to fill out our online survey. It only takes a few minutes!

Please complete the survey by no later than Noon, Wednesday, March 15, 2017.

Never Miss An Update: Sign Up for Text Alerts

As we negotiate our next union contract with Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, we’re committed to keeping you informed every step of the way. With so many ways to stay in the loop, don’t get left out of the conversation!

Text “Shoppers” to 698-329 to sign up for text alerts.

Your wireless provider’s message and data rates may apply – you may opt out any time by texting STOP to 698-329.

As always, follow us on FacebookTwitter and visit us right here on the web.

UFCW Scholarship Opportunity

ufcw_logoThe preliminary application for the UFCW Scholarship must be postmarked by December 31, 2015. Scholarships are available to help a number of eligible participants and their dependents who will be attending college or a university as a full-time student in the fall of 2014. Giant and Safeway  members can click here for the preliminary application, Shoppers members can click here. Again: all preliminary applications must be received in the Fund office postmarked no later than December 31, 2015.

Request Your Vacation Pronto!

Giant, Safeway and Shoppers Members, This is a Reminder!

According to your contract language (Giant & Safeway: Article 11.3, Shoppers: Article 8.6) you have from January 1- February 28 of this year to select your desired dates for vacation for the year, with no black out dates. You can select any days or weeks you desire. The selection will be awarded on a seniority basis within each department as stated in your collective bargaining agreement. Your manager is required to respond to you IN WRITING by March 31st with a final decision. If you’re finding your manager is saying that certain days or weeks are being blacked out and you can’t take vacation during those times, or not giving you a final decision in writing please call your representative immediately to report this violation.

See below for exact contract language (click to enlarge)

Giant Vacation Article

Giant Vacation Article

Safeway Vacation Article

Safeway Vacation Article

Shoppers Vacation Article

Shoppers Vacation Article

ATTENTION SHOPPERS FOOD & PHARMACY MEMBERS!

PrintPlease double check your paystubs! Be sure to inform your coworkers by printing the graphic (at right) and either hand it out to others on your shift, or post it up on your store’s union bulletin board! Feel free to also share this message on your own Facebook page by copy and pasting the link in your status! SPREAD THE WORD!

Shoppers Workers Ratify Collective Bargaining Agreement Increases Pay, Protects Health and Retirement Security Member Activism Key to Bargaining Success

Members of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 working at Shoppers Food & Pharmacy today overwhelmingly ratified a new, three-year collective bargaining agreement that increases their wages and maintains their health and retirement security.

The contract culminates a months-long, difficult round of bargaining that required multiple extensions of the old agreement to resolve complex issues, many of which revolved around increased costs imposed by the Affordable Care Act. The workers’ success was due to a sustained campaign that mobilized support from Shoppers customers and the community, with members of the Bargaining Advisory Committee visiting every store in the area.

“Because our Shoppers members stayed strong throughout this challenging process, they won a collective bargaining agreement that improves their standard of living and keeps their comprehensive health and pension benefits,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “This is a solid contract that compares well to others in the industry, and it’s testimony to the power of member activism. It also gives our members one more thing to be thankful for two days from now.”

“It took a lot of hard work, but we stuck together in solidarity, and it all paid off,” said Jose Mercado, a member of the Bargaining Advisory Committee who works at Shoppers #2615. “I think it’s a fair and good contract. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”

“I feel good about the contract,” said Bargaining Advisory Committee member Kevin Freeman of Shoppers #2618. “We touched base on all the issues people had in the stores and it was a good outcome. I was really glad to be on the bargaining team—it was a great group. Now we just have to keep moving forward.”

“We earned this contract through our actions in the stores,” said Chartel Scott, a member of the Bargaining Advisory Committee who works at Shoppers #2653. “I’m proud of the strength we showed through this long process.”

“Together with our union leadership we stuck together, didn’t give up, and got the best deal possible,” said Keith DeWitt, a Bargaining Advisory Committee member who works at Shoppers #2646. “Our hard work has paid off.”

Key provisions of the contract include:

  • Guaranteed wage increases of up to 90 cents/hour over three years, with all of the agreement’s financial benefits coming in the form of permanent raises rather than one-time bonuses.
  • Increased employer contributions to fully fund pension benefits.
  • Health care maintenance of benefits, which ensures that Shoppers will contribute whatever is necessary to the health care fund to pay all benefits.
  • Spouses will continue to be covered under the health benefit plan.
  • Overtime will continue to be paid for work exceeding eight hours in any day.
  • Sunday will continue to be treated as separate from the basic work week.

“Our task now is to move forward from here,” Federici said. “We will remain vigilant to ensure that the contract is fully enforced and we will work together with Shoppers to expand the company’s share of the market in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.”

The collective bargaining agreement, which affects 2,500 workers in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, takes effect retroactively as of July 13, 2014, and it expires on July 8, 2017.