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Sep 27: DanChem Technologies Membership Meeting

On Thursday, September 27, we will be hosting a union meeting for members working at DanChem Technologies to prepare for upcoming negotiations on our new contract.

We need your help to shape our strategy and prioritize our goals for negotiations. Your input will help us put together proposals well in advance of the actual contract negotiations and help us fight hardest for the things you and your coworkers want most.

As a Local 400 union member, please make a plan to attend this important meeting.

DanChem Technologies Membership Meeting

September 27, 2018
7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Courtyard Marriott
2136 Riverside Drive, Danville, VA 24540

Kroger Members Vote Overwhelmingly to Ratify New Contract in Richmond/Tidewater

Kroger members working at 22 stores in the Richmond and Hampton Roads areas voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new union contract today.

Congratulations on your new contract! Some highlights include:

  • Accelerated wage scales with guaranteed pay increases twice a year
  • Annual bonuses for most experienced associates
  • Premium pay for select positions in the store
  • Maintaining affordable healthcare and retirement benefits

Thanks to every member who came out to vote today. This wouldn’t have been possible without your hard work. Our union membership has grown significantly and this new and improved contract reflects our greater strength. As we continue to grow stronger, our contracts will continue to get better.

Your new contract takes effect immediately and extends through August 7, 2021. To get a review copy of the new contract, talk to your shop steward or union representative, or call our headquarters at  1-800-638-0800 (Mon – Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).

September 11: Kroger Richmond-Tidewater Contract Meeting

Be There to Vote on Your Next Contract

We are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with Kroger that we are prepared to recommend for ratification. The offer provides better pay and maintains affordable healthcare.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2018, we will hold two membership meetings where we will review the offer in detail and answer any questions you may have. It is critical that you make every effort to attend one of these meetings and hear the details of your contract proposal. You only have to attend one of the meetings.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

8:00 a.m. Richmond
Four Points by Sheraton
4700 South Laburnum Avenue, Richmond, VA 23231
Registration begins at 7:00 a.m.

5:30 p.m. Norfolk
DoubleTree Norfolk Airport
1500 North Military Highway, Norfolk, VA 23502
Registration begins at 4:30 p.m.

As a Local 400 union member, you have the opportunity to get answers to your questions and vote on your next contract. Please make a plan to attend one of these important contract meetings.

In the meantime, all of the protections and benefits of your current union contract remain in effect. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to talk to your shop steward, union representative, or call our headquarters at 1-800-638-0800 (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).

Kroger Tentative Agreement Reached

We are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with Kroger on a new contract that we are prepared to recommend for ratification. The offer provides better pay and maintains affordable healthcare.

We are arranging membership meetings to vote on the proposal, at which time we will review the offer in detail and answer any questions you may have. As a member of Local 400, it is critical that you make every effort to attend one of these meetings and cast your vote on your next contract. We will announce the meeting information as soon as possible.

In the meantime, all of the protections and benefits of your current union contract remain in effect.

As always, we will continue to keep you informed every step of the way. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to talk to your shop steward, union representative, or call our headquarters at 1-800-638-0800 (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).

Kroger Contract Extended to August 16

Negotiations with Kroger on our next union contract are still ongoing. We agreed to extend our current contract until August 16, 2018. All of the protections and benefits of your current union contract remain in effect.

We will not be rushed into a bad deal. Our goal remains to negotiate a fair contract with better wages, affordable healthcare and respect for our union.

Sign Up for Text Alerts

As negotiations proceed forward, we will continue to keep you informed every step of the way. Sign up for text alerts to ensure you never miss an update.

To sign up, text Richmond to 698-329. 

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

Montgomery General Workers Prevent Major Cuts With New Union Contract

Local 400 members working at the Montgomery General Elderly Care Center in Montgomery, W.Va. recently ratified a strong new union contract after months of difficult, rancorous negotiations.

At the start of negotiations, management presented a list of 34 takeaway proposals.  These included eliminating the workers’ pension, reducing health benefits, cutting vacation time and taking away two holidays.

Needless to say, the workers were having none of it.

“I’ve worked for this company for 30 years and this was the third bargaining I’ve been involved with,” said Pam Barron, a Local 400 shop steward who works in housekeeping/environmental services. “This was by far the toughest set of negotiations, but in the end, we turned it around.”

The workers stood strong in solidarity in opposing Montgomery General’s extreme demands. On Fridays, they are allowed to wear t-shirts to work, so every Friday during bargaining, they wore their Local 400 t-shirts, hats and buttons. They also wore their Local 400 t-shirts to the company picnic.

“Everyone was wonderful and once the company saw we were strong, that helped out,” Pam said. “If we hadn’t gotten a deal, we were ready to strike, too. Cynthia Davis, our other shop steward, was terrific, keeping us all together, fired up and ready to act.

“I think the company also finally realized how hard we work and how dedicated we are,” Pam added. “That’s what led to our contract.”

The final agreement provides for a three percent raise, and it maintained the workers’ pension, holidays and vacations.

“This is a good company and they’ve been good to me,” Pam said. “I just thank God we got through this and hopefully, we won’t have to again. I’m also thankful for our union, which was wonderful every step of the way.”

Dr. Pepper Workers Win Major Wage Increases in New Union Contract

Local 400 members working at the Dr. Pepper plants in Fairmont, West Virginia, and Belpre, Ohio, recently ratified a new union contract that includes the largest wage increases since the facility was organized.

Warehouse workers will receive as much as $3.50/hour more over the four year term of the contract, while drivers and others who are paid by the case or by the mile will also receive large pay hikes. All workers will have a slight reduction in out-of-pocket costs for health insurance in 2019 and the employer has agreed to a 100% match into the 401(k) plan.

“We gained on everything,” said Rod Plauger, a bulk delivery driver and shop steward who organized the plant approximately 20 years ago and served on the bargaining committee. “This gave us more than we ever have.  We got everything we asked for.

“This round of bargaining was a lot calmer than the way things used to go,” he said. “In the past, the company would never give us a penny. The company was doing a changeover with new ownership and that might have played a part.”

Still, the road to a contract was not smooth. In fact, the members rejected the company’s first contract offer.

“Our members are strong-willed,” Rod said. “It was surprising to a lot of people that the first offer was rejected. We were prepared for anything, even a strike. But when we went back to the company, they moved some money around until everybody was satisfied.

“I was very impressed with the way negotiations were handled on our side, and the result speaks for itself,” he added.

Annapolis Police Win Take-Home Cars, 20-Year Pensions in New Union Contract

Pictured left to right: Johnie Perry, Local 400 Representative; Ofc. Deborah Sauriol-Inoni; Cpl. Hil O’Herlihy; and Det. Aaron Stein.

Annapolis Police Officers represented by Local 400 recently ratified a strong new contract that addressed their top priorities and improved the recruitment of qualified candidates by enabling all officers to receive take-home vehicles and reducing the time needed to receive full pensions from 25 to 20 years.

The negotiations took an unusually long time because a new mayor was elected and the city manager and finance director both resigned in the middle of contract negotiations. But the officers stayed strong and won on all the key issues before them.

“I’ve been in past negotiations where it feels like ‘us versus them,’” said Corporal Hil O’Herlihy, chief steward and a member of the Bargaining Committee. “But here, at the end of the day, we got together and worked out a deal that was beneficial to everybody. I was very happy. Everyone on both sides stepped up and did their jobs. This sets the Police Department up well for the future, and that will benefit the citizens of Annapolis.”

What was critical to the process was member solidarity. The primary goals benefited younger officers, because senior officers already had take-home vehicles and 20-year pensions. “Everyone understood that the younger officers were just looking for what the older officers already have,” Corporal O’Herlihy said. “People recognized that this is what matters for the agency going forward. It gives us a chance to get better qualified candidates, and all officers benefit when we’re able to recruit good people.”

Key provisions in the contract include:

  • Half of all officers will receive a take home vehicle in 2019 and the other half will receive them in 2020.  The city will purchase more than 40 additional vehicles to make this possible.
  • All officers will be eligible to receive full pension benefits after 20 years, including those hired after 2012, who had previously been on a 25-year schedule.
  • The City for the first time agreed to fully fund the Police and Fire pension by paying the amount “actuarially determined by the plan.”
  • Members will receive cost of living increases totaling 5.5 percent in addition to any step increases.
  • Military members will receive 120 hours of leave instead of “two weeks” for annual training.
  • Members will be eligible to accumulate 120 hours of compensatory time, up from 80 hours.
  • Key language surrounding Detective on call, SWAT team response and Field Training pay were included in the contract for the first time.

In addition to their solidarity and perseverance, the members benefited from the fact that competition is fierce to hire qualified police officers. Local 400 members serving on the Annapolis Police Force persuaded city management that the take-home cars and improved pension benefits were essential to the Department’s ability to be fully staffed with the best possible officers in the future.

Annapolis Police Officers Hailed As Heroes in Capital-Gazette Shooting

When the horrific mass shooting took place at the Annapolis Capital-Gazette on June 28th, Local 400 members serving as Annapolis police officers were the first to respond.

Even though the newspaper’s offices are outside the city borders in Anne Arundel County, Annapolis police officers were near the scene and arrived first. Not knowing what they would find, they charged into an active shooter situation, found and subdued the shooter, and worked to help the victims until emergency medical personnel arrived.

“My fellow officers went right in to the scene with no hesitation,” said said Corporal Hil O’Herlihy, Local 400 chief steward. “They ran towards the shooter and eventually placed him under arrest. They followed their training and their performance under the worst of circumstances couldn’t have been more impressive.

“Needless to say, it was incredibly traumatic to arrive in a room where people are screaming, bleeding and horribly injured,” Corporal O’Herlihy said. “Fortunately, the Department provides peer-to-peer support and other assistance to help them cope and heal. I was off-duty that day, but all of us know this is part of our commitment to service, and we’re all here to support one another—and support our community.”

Five Capital-Gazette journalists tragically lost their lives that day. But had it not been for the courage of Local 400’s Annapolis police officers, the outcome could have been even worse. They deserve our thanks and our admiration.

Minimal Progress in Kaiser Contract Negotiations June 25-26

 

The following bargaining update is from the Alliance of Health Care Unions negotiating a new nationwide contract with Kaiser Permanente:

Orange County, June 26 – In the first of two jam-packed days of bargaining, union negotiators initially made some progress addressing labor and management interests. But by the second day, negotiators had to contend with management proposals that were made and then withdrawn, and a management proposal to eliminate 15-year old “provisions in the National or Local Agreements that prohibit the employer from cancelling or reassigning staff.”  Kaiser proposed to be able to cancel shifts without pay up to two hours before shift start time, proposing to pay for half of the shift if the cancellation is less than two hours before start time.

The economic subgroup had a two-hour meeting and made limited progress on economic issues. The union team emphasized that we intend to preserve and improve our benefits, and win strong wage increases for all Alliance union members. Management proposed increased health care co-pays.

In a union caucus at the end of the second day, leaders encouraged union members to attend bargaining on Sunday, July 8. “This is the eleventh hour,” said Alliance Chair Kathleen Theobald. “This is when we need union members to show up and let Kaiser know we care.”

In the Operational Effectiveness subgroup, negotiators discussed forecasting the work of the future and staff. Management again called for flexibility, and the unions stressed that the key to flexibility is engaging labor early in the change process, before decisions are made.

“All the things that we’re trying to tackle really stem from the need to have meaningful participation from labor,” explained subgroup Union Co-Lead Lisa Loucks of UFCW Local 555.

The group discussed the need to fully include labor in forecasting and planning for the work of the future, and addressing barriers, especially barriers to placing employees who have achieved higher qualifications within Kaiser.

It was in this subgroup that management called to end the no-cancellation policy.

“There’s frustration on both sides,” added Kim Smith of UNAC/UHCP. “We need to implement the National Agreement so that management gets what it needs and we get what we need out of it.”

The Partnership subgroup focused on improving access to LMP training. In some areas and classifications, basic LMP learning has virtually ground to a halt, including even required LMP Orientation for new hires.

“We need to ensure that from the first time they walk through the door, new frontline workers and managers are trained in how to work in partnership and what the expectations are,” said Valery Robinson, USW 7600 President. “We don’t want to go backwards.”

To speed the development of updated national curriculum, agreement was reached to empower a national LMP Learning Group that will report quarterly to the LMP Executive Committee.

The group discussed tightening up and improving training standards for new hires.

The union negotiating team also continued to advance proposals to require minimum hours of LMP training every year for every employee, and to expand the current 4-hour LMP Orientation to a full 8-hour LMP Orientation class.

“Our goal is to make sure new employees, managers, and newly accreted union members receive partnership training in a timely manner,” said Katie Ekstrom, OFNHP Local 5017 and subgroup Union Co-Lead. “We are shifting our partnership culture through a renewed commitment to learning about partnership early.”

POSTPONED: Macy’s Contract Meeting May 20th Postponed Until Further Notice

The Macy’s Bargaining Committee – pictured left to right: Bianca Morris (Marlow Heights), Arleetta Hunter (Montgomery Mall), Mary Burns-O’Connor (Bowie), Kimberly Mitchell (Metro Center), Lewis Mattison (Montgomery Mall)

The Macy’s contract meeting previously scheduled for Sunday, May 20th has been postponed until further notice.

We began these contract negotiations united with our brothers and sisters from UFCW Local 21 working at Macy’s stores in Seattle. By standing united coast to coast, we are able to work together to negotiate better contracts for all of us.

Thanks to all of you who took action for a fair contract, we have successfully reached a tentative agreement with Macy’s that we are prepared to recommend for ratification. But while our contract talks have concluded, negotiations are still underway between Macy’s and our fellow union members at UFCW Local 21 in Seattle.

We’re in this together. We started this united coast to coast, and we’re going to finish it united coast to coast. That’s why, with the unanimous support of your bargaining committee, we have decided we will not vote on our new contract until Macy’s reaches an agreement with our brothers and sisters on the west coast. We will continue to wear our buttons and take action in solidarity with our Macy’s coworkers in Seattle.

Rest assured, we expect the wage increases and other gains we have made in our new contract to take effect retroactively. We are also aware that open enrollment for your health insurance begins on Tuesday, May 22. Later this week, we will be giving you additional information about health care changes that are included in the tentative agreement so you will have all of the information you need in order to make your enrollment selection.

We will notify all Macy’s members once our contract meeting has been rescheduled. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your questions and comments.