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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.

Print This Flier (PDF)

20161006-felra-update-3

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.

We Deserve a Fair Deal

Contract Negotiations Update #2: October 7, 2016

This week, we met with representatives from Safeway and Giant for three days to negotiate our next contract. The meetings so far have focused on securing our retirement, but we also exchanged initial proposals and began discussing other issues we need addressed in order to secure fair wages, affordable healthcare, and adequate staffing.

We have yet to reach any agreements on our new contract. Our goal is to reach the best deal possible, not to rush to finish and end up with a bad agreement. We have a full week of bargaining scheduled for next week and we will continue to keep you updated every step of the way.

Together, we have already conclusively demonstrated that Safeway and Giant routinely violate our contract by not posting our schedules on time on Fridays. We will continue to file grievances on every scheduling violation and push for real penalties for violations in our next contract.

This weekend, we will be out in front of stores across the region to let customers know we are negotiating a new contract and to ask for their support. Please join us if you see us outside your store or contact your shop steward or union representative if you want to get more involved. We all need to stick together so we can get the fair contract we deserve.

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Widespread Scheduling Violations Reported at Giant & Safeway

Local 400 members reported scheduling violations at 46 Giant Food & Safeway stores in a single day.

Local 400 members reported scheduling violations at 46 Giant Food & Safeway stores in a single day.

We all know how hectic life can get. Between work, family, and other obligations, your time is precious. That’s why our union contract requires store managers to post the schedule by 1:00 p.m. every Friday – so you can have time to plan your life.

But all too often, store managers at Giant Food and Safeway supermarkets do not post the schedule on time, or they make changes to the schedule without informing every employee individually. This not only makes it harder for you to plan your week, but it is a serious violation of our union contract.

Last week, on Friday, September 23, we decided to find out how many store managers violate our union contract when creating a schedule for the week. Thanks to members like you calling our hotline, we discovered 46 stores with schedule violations in a single day.

We will be filing grievances to make sure every reported violation is addressed. In addition, as part of our ongoing contract negotiations, we are proposing real penalties when managers do not post the schedule on time.

Report Scheduling Violations: 301-577-2368

Please continue to report scheduling violations each week by calling our hotline at 301-577-2368.

Violations include:

  • schedule is not posted by 1:00 p.m. on Friday
  • the schedule is changed after posting without informing all affected employees individually (the manager leaving a note at the time clock or telling all employees to check the schedule for changes is not enough)

Know Your Contract

The following clause can be found in the Giant Food & Safeway union contracts regarding scheduling:

6.18 The schedule for all full time employees showing the starting and finishing time and regular days off shall not be altered after it is posted, except by mutual agreement. Each full time employee shall regularly receive the same day off each week. A seven (7) day written notice must be given in order for a full time employee’s regularly scheduled day off to be changed except for holiday weeks. In the week following the holiday week, the regular schedule shall apply pertaining to days off. In the Meat Department, the scheduling of nights (past 6:00 p.m.) and Saturday night for full time employees shall be done on a rotating basis as nearly equal as practical. The schedule for a part time employee may be changed by notification to the employee prior to store closing the previous day. A part time schedule shall be complete and reflect the anticipated basic need for the store’s requirements for that week.

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 698-329.

Introducing the 2016 Giant & Safeway Advisory Committee

meet-the-team

We are your 2016 advisory committee! We will be assisting in negotiations for our next union contract with Giant & Safeway. Starting Wednesday, September 21, along with our brothers and sisters at UFCW Local 27 in Baltimore, we will sit across the table from Giant & Safeway management with the goal of winning a fair contract that allows us to take care of ourselves and our families, keeps our healthcare accessible and affordable, and makes sure we have a secure retirement. Our hard work continues to make these companies the most successful grocers in the region and we deserve to share in that success.

Winning a good contract will require all of us to stand together, stay informed, and participate. If you have any questions, input, or want to get more involved, talk to one of us in the stores or contact your union representative.

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.

Print the Flier (PDF)

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Announcing the 2017 UFCW & FELRA Scholarship

If you’re a Local 400 member working at Giant Food, Safeway, or Shoppers Food Warehouse, you or a family member could be eligible for an exclusive scholarship worth up to $2,500!

Learn more and apply today! Preliminary applications are due by December 31, 2016.

About the Scholarship

The UFCW & FELRA Scholarship Program expects to award scholarships to a select number of eligible participants and their dependents who will be enrolled in an accredited college, university, community college, vocational school, or trade or technical school as a full-time student in the Fall of 2017.

Participants and their dependents are eligible to apply for a scholarship award if, as of December 31, 2016, the participant completes at least one uninterrupted Year of Service and is actively employed by Giant Food, Safeway, or Shoppers Food Warehouse. In addition, on December 31, 2016, dependent child applicants must be under the age of 24, unmarried and a dependent of the participant for federal income tax purposes.

Applicants who submit preliminary applications and meet the initial scholarship award requirements will be mailed a full application in early January 2017.  

IMPORTANT: If your dependent does not have medical coverage through the Fund Office, please include a copy of a marriage certificate (if spouse), or birth certificate or custody order (if child) with the preliminary application.

Print the Application (PDF)

Deadline to apply: December 31, 2016

Print and complete a preliminary application below and mail it to:
UFCW & FELRA Scholarship Program, 911 Ridgebrook Road, Sparks, MD 21152-9451

Giant Food & Safeway Preliminary Application:

Giant & Safeway 2017 Preliminary Scholarship Application

Giant & Safeway 2017 Preliminary Scholarship Application

 

Shoppers Food Warehouse Preliminary Application:

Shoppers Local 400 2017 Preliminary Scholarship App

Shoppers Local 400 2017 Preliminary Scholarship App

Contract Survey for Giant & Safeway Union Members

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What do you want in your next union contract?

In the coming weeks, we will begin negotiating our next union contract with Giant Food and Safeway. Please help us put together our proposals for the upcoming negotiations by completing our 2016 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, Monday, September 12, 2016.

Upcoming Contract Meetings

Please plan to attend any one of our upcoming contract meetings.  All meetings will run from 6pm to 8pm. You will get a card in the mail inviting you to the one closest to the store where you work, and we encourage you to attend that one, but if you cannot make it or another meeting is more convenient, you are welcome to attend any of them! We want to hear what YOU want to see in your upcoming contract, so make sure to be there!

We’ve already had several meetings and there are more coming up!

Fredericksburg Area
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Fredericksburg Library
1201 Caroline Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
6pm-8pm

Washington, DC Area
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Teamsters 639
3100 Ames Place, NE
Washington, DC 20018
6pm-8pm

Oxon Hill Area
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Oxon Hill Library
6200 Oxon Hill Rd
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
6pm-8pm

Silver Spring/Wheaton Area
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Knights of Columbus
9707 Rosensteel Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
6pm-8pm

Chantilly Area
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Chantilly Regional Library
4000 Stringfellow Road
Chantilly, VA 20151-2628
6pm-8pm

Silver Spring Area
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Mid County Comm. Rec Center
2004 Queensguard Road
Silver Spring, MD 20906
6pm-8pm

Never Miss An Update

As we negotiate our next union contract with Giant and Safeway, 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 “FELRA” to 698329 (message and data rates may apply — you may opt out at anytime).

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

 

Hundreds of Employees, Customers, Allies Deliver Thousands of Petitions to Giant Demanding Save My Store

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Company Responds with Words, Not Action

Hundreds of Local 400 members, Giant customers, brothers and sisters from other unions, community allies, elected officials and faith leaders today marched from Local 400’s office to Giant headquarters to deliver thousands of petitions telling the company, “Save My Store!”

The boisterous rally was prompted by Giant’s announcement in March that it would sell eight stores in the region due to a corporate merger between Ahold and Delhaize, the European-based parent companies of Giant and Food Lion. Since that time, workers and customers at the stores slated to be sold have heard nothing about their fate and have received no assurances that their jobs and the protections of their union contract will be observed by store buyers.

“This is an example of corporate America run amuck,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “Why in the world is it right for the people who work and make profits for this company to be the last to know about their fate? That’s wrong.

“We’ve had enough of our work, our sweat, our blood making it possible for these big deals to happen, but then we’re immediately forgotten about,” he charged. “We’re here to say, ‘go close somebody else!’”

“I was devastated when I heard about our store being sold,” said Robyn Wheeler, who has worked at the Fredericksburg, Va., Giant for 36 years, and is both the daughter and mother of longtime Giant employees. “We’re there every day doing our jobs. They’ve left us in the dark big time—no lights at all. We’re here to get answers and especially a good outcome.”

“We’re talking about our livelihoods,” said Jeannie Weaver who works at Giant #338 in Accokeek, Md. “Giant management aren’t the ones who are affected. We’re the ones who have to stand firm and tell them, ‘No way! Don’t shut our doors. Don’t keep us in the dark.’”

“When I think of Giant, I think of community,” said Eric Masten, secretary treasurer of UFCW Local 27. “Our store in Salisbury has been there since 1959 and it’s an integral part of the community. For a long time, it was the only Giant on the Delmarva Peninsula. It makes me sick to see what has happened to corporate finance.

“We’ve submitted 1,200 ‘Save My Store’ petitions from Salisbury alone,” Masten said. “Our customers don’t want to lose their Giant. Our customers identify with our workers. It would be a sad day if the company shuts down a store with good wages and benefits while leaving open stores where people make low wages and benefits.”

Joe Wood, a Local 27 member who has worked at Giant #351 in Salisbury for 30 years said, “This goes beyond everybody in this room. I’m a receiver and this affects every vendor. If Giant closes us down, it closes a million dollar store. It affects Salisbury. It affects the taxes our city collects. For each of us, this affects another 15 to 20 people.

“If our store gets sold to a non-union business, we go from middle class wages to Section 8 housing wages,” Wood said. “We’ll be spending less in our community. When you stop cutting meat in the store, what happens? Management thinks they save money. But what about the shoppers they lose?”

Deborah Snyder of Stafford, Va., attended the march and rally, noting, “I’ve shopped at my Giant for close to 40 years. When I heard this was happening, I knew I had to support the workers.”

After rallying in front of Giant headquarters, a group of marchers delivered four shopping carts full of signed petitions to company representatives. Afterwards, they told the crowd that while Giant offered to meet with individual workers and claimed its “priority” was to sell the stores to unionized companies that pay good wages and benefits, managers made no commitments.

“I was not satisfied with Giant’s answer,” Federici said. “No disrespect to the offer, but we want facts. We want them to put this in writing. We want them to respond to the official request by Local 400 and Local 27, and they still have not done so. Rhetoric does not put bread and butter on the table.”

Throughout the rally, a host of other union members, elected officials, community activists and religious leaders lent their voices of support. Virginia AFL-CIO President Doris Crouse-Mays, said, “We stand with you in this fight. How much is enough? You make $2 billion and that’s not enough? Enough’s enough. Don’t destroy lives and communities.” Ritchie Brooks, president of Teamsters Local 730, noted, “Local 400 has had our backs whenever we’ve needed you. And we’ve got your backs.”

Rev. Graylan Hagler, senior pastor of Plymouth United Church of Christ, told the marchers, “You do not stand alone. On this issue, we stand as one people. Folks will take away from you anything you’re not willing to fight for. When we stand together, when we fight together, when we stand arm in arm, we can take back the forces of greed every single day.”

Virginia State Sen. Scott Surovell (36th district), noting that Ahold and Delhaize are European-based companies, observed, “There, workers get taken care of. They shouldn’t come here and act like Walmart.”

Maryland State Sen. C. Anthony Muse (26th district) said, “No way you’re going to take these jobs way. No way we say Maryland is business friendly but not worker friendly. We’re telling Giant, this is not just about these stores [slated to be sold]. Your stores are throughout our state and we have a long memory.”

Monica Sarmiento, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights, said, “Shame on Giant for keeping UFCW in the dark. Their wealth was built off of your hard work. We will not be silent while you are robbed. You are not alone.”

Rally attendees pledged to keep fighting—and then some—to save their stores. “We’re not stopping now,” Federici emphasized. “This is not an end. We are not going to walk away.”

Other speakers at the march and rally included Md. Del. Edith Patterson (28th district), Washington Metro Labor Council Executive Director Carlos Jimenez, UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO member Gabriel Acever, Prince George’s County Southern Christian Leadership Conference President McArthur Bishop, DC Jobs With Justice Executive Director Nikki Lewis, DC Working Families Director Delvone Michael, Maryland Working Families Executive Director Charly Carter, Progressive Maryland Executive Director Larry Stafford, and Rev. Jamila Jaye Woods-Jones, pastor of Jabez Christian Community Church.

Photos from the Rally

Growing List of Elected Officials Lend Support to Grocery Workers Threatened by Corporate Merger

Local elected officials show outpouring of support for hundreds of Giant Food employees in the region threatened by a corporate merger overseas

Prince George’s County Councilmember Mel Franklin sharing his support at the #SaveMyStore Town Hall in Accokeek, Maryland.

Prince George’s County Councilmember Mel Franklin sharing his support at the #SaveMyStore Town Hall in Accokeek, Maryland.

In March, employees at eight Giant Food grocery stores in the region were told their stores could be sold thanks to a corporate merger between Ahold and Delhaize, the European-based parent companies of Giant Food and Food Lion.

They weren’t told when this would happen or even what would happen to their jobs. Instead, they were told to keep it to themselves and get back to work. As one cashier recalled, “management told me, ‘don’t tell the customers, you might scare them away!’”

 But with hundreds of their jobs at stake, they weren’t going to keep this quiet. Together with their union, UFCW Local 400, the employees launched the #SaveMyStore campaign to bring together Giant employees, union members, and the communities they serve to save these stores.

From the start, the campaign drew support from elected officials and political leaders in the area, and that momentum has only continued to grow.

Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw, who recently won re-election to a second term, was among the earliest to lend her support to the Giant employees and spoke at the campaign’s kickoff event in March. She was joined by former city councilmember, Rev. Hashmel Turner.

In neighboring Stafford County, Timothy J. Baroody, Deputy County Administrator of the Stafford County Department of Economic Development, wrote an open letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging them to allow the Giant stores to remain open.

“They, and the people they employ, are great contributors to our collective quality of life in Stafford County,” Baroody explained.

Scott Surovell, who represents District 36 in the Virginia state senate, has agreed to speak in support of the campaign at the upcoming #SaveMyStore rally on May 11, while at the federal level, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia and and Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland’s 5th congressional district also expressed their support for the workers’ efforts.

Over in Maryland, state and county leaders have been equally enthusiastic in their support.

At a campaign event in Accokeek, Maryland, Prince George’s County councilmember Mel Franklin shared wisdom from his years of experience at the Federal Trade Commission, the agency which must approve the merger before it can move forward.

“We have to get organized, get to the FTC and weigh in with them so they know our concerns,” Franklin said. “At the end of the day, we need to win.”

Delegate Edith Patterson from Maryland’s 28th district was similarly supportive. “You are more than workers, you are family,” she told attendees at a town hall in La Plata, Maryland, while holding up her Giant bonus card.

“I will be with you,” Patterson added when asked if she would attend the rally on May 11. Maryland SenatorAnthony Muse from district 26 has also pledged to attend, while Delegate Kris Valderrama also expressed support for the campaign.

Campaign representatives have also met with Governor Terry McAuliffe’s staff in Virginia, as well as the state’s attorney general, Mark Herring, in an effort to influence the outcome of the FTC process.

But with the company refusing to provide additional details on the store sales as the FTC process continues, union leaders and Giant employees will continue to reach out to every elected official in the region to gather support.

On May 11, the campaign plans to deliver thousands of signatures on a petition to the company directly to Giant Food headquarters in Landover, Maryland.