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New Contracts Ratified With Safeway & Giant

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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.

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Stronger Together: Giant Reaches Tentative Agreement

Be There to Vote November 16

We are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with Giant that we’re prepared to recommend for ratification. We reached a similar tentative agreement with Safeway last week, and we’re eager to present both proposals to you at our contract meeting on Wednesday, November 16. As a member of Local 400, it is critical that you make every effort to attend your meeting.

Giant & Safeway Contract Meetings
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
8:00 a.m. Safeway members | 1:00 p.m. Giant members
D.C. Armory, 2001 E Capitol St SE, Washington, DC 20003

After marathon negotiations, which lasted through the night, we were able to stand strong thanks to your support. In the end, we were able to settle on what we believe is a fair agreement.

Standing together as Safeway and Giant workers, keeping all of our options on the table going into the holidays, and being prepared to do whatever it takes, got us an agreement that, while not perfect, we can be proud of.

We stood together. We successfully prevented takebacks. The proposals we will present are the strongest offers we have seen, and are far better than where we started. We are proud to unanimously recommend ratification on both agreements.

Once again, thank you for all your support. Every bit of progress we made in negotiations is thanks to your actions in the stores. By sticking together as Giant and Safeway workers, by participating in the actions together, by engaging our customers and our communities, we made it clear to both companies that we would not accept a bad contract. Thank you for all your hard work. We’ll see you at the DC Armory!

Sincerely,

Your Bargaining Advisory Team

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Lipton Suffolk 2017 Benefits Update

Unilever Health & Welfare Plan for Hourly Employees in Suffolk, VA

Unilever and UFCW Local 400 have begun the collective bargaining discussions required following the vote to unionize on 08/26/2016.  While no contract is in place between Unilever and UFCW Local 400, both parties recognized the necessity of acting now on health care for 2017 while contract negotiations continue between the two parties.

As a result of negotiations, the Company and the Union have agreed that the hourly employees of Suffolk be excluded from the UNICare annual enrollment process for 2017 which is going on now.  The Company and the Union have further agreed that the medical and dental plans and employee contributions which were in place for 2016 remain unchanged for 2017 or until a new health and welfare program is negotiated.

As a result of the short time frame before January 1, 2017, an open enrollment to add dependents or change health or dental options will take place with paper enrollment forms in early to mid-December 2016.  This requires Unilever to offer a separate Annual Enrollment period to the hourly employees of Suffolk and the exact dates for that will be announced shortly.

Since this is occurring so late in the year, it requires extensive amount of work on the part of Unilever’s claims administrators (UnitedHealthcare, CVS Caremark and Metlife).  They have all configured their systems to manage the 2017 UNICare plans and were not prepared to maintain the 2016 plan designs.  The administrators are currently working to set up the 2016 plan designs for the hourly employees of Suffolk but have advised Unilever that the work will not be finalized by January 1, 2017.

What does this mean?

A glitch will occur January 1, 2017.  The extension of the 2016 benefits in health care and dental will not be able to be implemented by the plan administrator and communicated to health care providers until sometime later in the first quarter of the year.

When the 2016 benefits are put back into place, adjustments will be made and providers will be paid under the 2016 benefit plan retroactive to January 1, 2017.  This means that if you go to a health care provider in the first quarter of the year, the doctor or other provider will have the incorrect information for your coverage.

This will mean that your doctor or other health provider may see coverage showing you owing additional out of pocket expenses. This is because claims incurred between January 1st and as late as March 31, 2017 will initially be paid using the 2017 plan rules that were established for the 2017 UNICare plans.  When the current 2016 plan is fully reinstated by the end of the first quarter of 2017, all claims will be reprocessed and doctors and health care providers will be paid any additional funds they are owed under the terms of the plan.

UFCW Local 400 and Unilever hope to provide a letter from the plan administrator outlining the differences between what the providers will see beginning January 1, 2017 and what the actual benefit will be retroactive to January 1, 2017.

Payroll deductions in 2017 for health insurance and dental insurance will remain at the same rates that were in effect during 2016.

UFCW Local 400 and Unilever will continue to work to minimize any disruption to employee health care for 2017. We realize that this can be confusing until the correct plan terms are implemented. Additional communications to keep you informed and up to date will be forthcoming.

Please refer to the attached summary of your 2016 Medical and Dental plans. If you would like a copy of the full 2016 Summary Plan description of your benefits, see the plant Human Resources department.

If you should have questions regarding your 2017 health plan coverage, please contact the plant Human Resources department or Union Representative Kayla Mock.

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Strike Preparations Begin at Giant

Tentative Agreement Reached with Safeway, But Giant Refuses to Budge

We have reached a tentative agreement with Safeway that we are prepared to recommend for ratification at our contract meeting on November 16.

After more than a month of negotiations, after extending our current union contract, and with the holiday season rapidly approaching, Giant continues to refuse to agree to a similar fair deal. Negotiating with each company separately has been a challenge, but we will remain united as Giant and Safeway workers to get what we deserve from Giant.

Giant is still insisting on huge takebacks, including undermining our retirement security, taking away or capping Sunday premium pay for current members, and making Sunday part of the regular work week. We will not give these things away. It is our hard work that has made Giant the number one grocery store in the region. We deserve to share in the success we have built.

Our current contract extension expires on November 18, leaving all options on the table leading into the holidays. We need to act now, before our contract meetings on the 16th, to show Giant that we are a united union family. As both Giant and Safeway union workers, we must show Giant that we are willing to do whatever it takes to get a fair deal for all of us. As always, it remains our goal to get the fair contract we deserve, not to go on strike or disrupt business. We remain committed to negotiating in good faith until we get a fair deal.

Starting today, we will begin preparations in the event we need to strike. We will share information you will need to prepare yourself financially, as well as picket schedules and other materials, so we will be ready if we need to be. Safeway workers will stand with Giant workers in the event that we need to strike at Giant. We will remain in this together.

Union reps will continue to be in all stores, both Safeway and Giant, and it is important for everyone from both companies to tell your store managers now that you plan to attend the November 16th contract meeting. Everyone is allowed to attend and you should contact your rep immediately if you are denied time off. We are ready to do whatever it takes to get a fair contract and we will continue to stand together and fight until we all get the agreement we deserve.

Sign Up for Text Alerts: Text FELRA to 698-329

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 FELRA to 698-329. 

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

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Contract Negotiations with Lipton Progressing

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Meetings Scheduled Through December

Our first few meetings with Lipton representatives have gone very well. We are making progress and we have setup dates to continue negotiations through early December. Our talks have focused on “non-economic” parts of the contract, such as disciplinary and grievance procedures. As we move forward, we’ll exchange proposals on wages, benefits and other “economic” parts of the contract.

Let’s strengthen our union by completing union membership applications to have on file. If you or someone you know has not yet filled out an application, contact any member of the negotiating team below, or call Kayla Mock at 571-435-1817.

Sign Up for Text Alerts: Text LIPTON to 698-329

As we negotiate our first union contract with Lipton, 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 LIPTON to 698-329. 

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

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November 16: Giant & Safeway Union Contract Meetings

No Deal Reached Yet, Negotiations Continue

On November 16, we will hold meetings for all Giant and Safeway union members at the D.C. Armory in Washington. As a member of Local 400, it is critical that you make every effort to attend this meeting. Request time off now – you can’t be denied time off to attend this union meeting. If your manager denies your request for time off, call your union rep immediately.

November 16, 2016
8:00 am – Safeway Union Contract Meeting
1:00 pm – Giant Union Contract Meeting 

D.C. Armory
2001 E Capitol St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Free Parking Available in Lot #3 and Lot #8
Short walk from the Stadium Armory Metro Station

Please note: unlike last time, we will be holding our meeting with Safeway members in the morning and Giant members in the afternoon.

We have scheduled negotiations with both Giant and Safeway next week. We hope to reach a tentative agreement to present to you for a vote on November 16, but we will not be pressured into a bad deal. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to get the fair contract we have earned.

In order to keep all options on the table, we have given notice to both companies, as required under our current contract extension, to cancel the extension in 14 days. This means the current contract will remain in effect for the next 14 days and will expire on November 18. In the meantime, we will continue making every effort to reach a fair deal with Giant and Safeway.

Union staff will be in stores every day between now and November 16. It is important that we continue to stick together and everyone participates in store actions. It is our strength and solidarity that will get us a fair contract.

Sign Up for Text Alerts: Text FELRA to 698-329

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 FELRA to 698-329. 

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

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Progress Remains Slow

Contract Extended – All Current Benefits & Protections Still Apply

Contract Negotiations Update #5

Today we agreed to extend our current collective bargaining agreements with both Giant and Safeway on a day-to-day basis. This means that all of the benefits and protections of our current agreements remain in effect as we continue bargaining. We can end this extension, if necessary, by giving 14 days’ notice to either or both companies.

We agreed to these extensions because we have not yet reached a tentative agreement with either company. We have made some progress over the last week, but we still have a lot of work to do before we can reach agreements that we could recommend for ratification. It remains our goal to get the best agreement possible, and we will not be rushed into a bad deal.

The activity and support in the stores and from our customers is being felt by the companies. The progress we have made is a result of both companies recognizing that we are willing to do whatever it takes to get a fair contract. We will not slow down now.

We resume negotiations on Monday and we know we can count on you to have our backs every day. We will continue actions in the stores and building our customer support, and we need everyone to continue to participate and keep up the good work. We will not stop until we get a fair deal for all of us.

Sign Up for Text Alerts: Text FELRA to 698-329

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 FELRA to 698-329. 

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

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It’s Time to Get Serious

Contract Negotiations Update #4

After fourteen days of bargaining with Safeway and Giant, and with only nine days until our contract expires, we remain far apart on nearly every issue. We continue to demand retirement security, accessible and affordable health care, living wages, and fair schedules, but the companies continue to propose takebacks.

Both of these companies are successful because of our hard work. We deserve a contract that recognizes our effort and allows us to share in the success we have built.

Some things have changed this week. For the first time, Safeway and Giant are negotiating with us separately. While the companies are divided, we are united. We remain strong and united with each other, with UFCW Local 27, with the Teamsters who drive the trucks and work the warehouses, and with other Giant/Ahold and Safeway/Albertson’s workers across the country.

We expect Giant and Safeway to get serious next week and start working with us toward a fair agreement. But we are beginning to get prepared in case they do not.

Union reps and other staff will be out in the stores collecting signatures on a petition demanding what we all know we deserve. Sign the petition and make sure everyone in your store does as well. We will continue to keep you updated on progress at the table as well as further actions we need to take to move things forward. We have a full week of bargaining next week and we are proud to know you have our backs.

Sign Up for Text Alerts: Text FELRA to 698-329

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 FELRA to 698-329. 

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

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No Agreements Yet, But Actions and Negotiations Continue

Contract Negotiations Update #3

We spent four full days in contract negotiations with Giant & Safeway this week. The talks have focused on safeguarding our retirement and securing affordable healthcare. So far, we have yet to reach a tentative agreement with either company. We’ve arranged a full schedule of meetings next week to continue negotiations and our goal remains to reach the best deal possible.

While we’ve been at the table, it has been very encouraging to know that you have our backs and to see so many people working hard to get the word out to shoppers. The response and support from our customers has been truly overwhelming! Last week, more than 4,000 customers delivered cards to store managers expressing support for us as we negotiate our new contract. That kind of support makes a huge difference as we sit across the table with representatives from both companies. Thank you for all your support. We will keep sticking together until we get a fair deal!

Sign Up for Text Alerts: Text FELRA to 698-329

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 FELRA to 698-329. 

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

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In Just Two Days, More Than 4,000 Customers Sign Cards Supporting Local 400 Members

At a Safeway in McLean, Virginia, members of the local firefighters union were happy to lend their support and pose for a photo with Local 400 members.

At a Safeway in McLean, Virginia, members of the local firefighters union were happy to lend their support and pose for a photo with Local 400 members.

Over the weekend, thousands of customers signed cards to store managers at Giant and Safeway expressing support for Local 400 members as we negotiate a new union contract.

Hundreds of Local 400 members spent the weekend leafleting customers at Giant and Safeway stores throughout the region. We ultimately delivered more than 4,000 cards signed by customers to managers at 52 Giant and Safeway stores.

Customers were eager to support employees calling for fair wages, affordable healthcare, and a secure retirement.

“We received such overwhelming support from customers that we literally ran out of cards,” said Stephanie Pryor, who works as a receiver at a Giant in Silver Spring, Maryland. “We could have printed 4,000 more copies and we probably would still have run out.”

Many customers were union members themselves and clearly understood what’s at stake in our contract negotiations. As one shopper in Washington, D.C. explained, “union is always the way to go.” At a Safeway in McLean, Virginia, members of the local firefighters union were happy to lend their support and pose for a photo with Local 400 members.

As negotiations go on, we’ll continue to engage customers and build support for the hardworking men and women at Safeway and Giant. It is our hard work that makes these companies successful and we deserve to share in that success.

Sign Up for Text Alerts: Text FELRA to 698-329

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 FELRA to 698-329. 

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