July 12, 2012, Coverage by Union City–Members of United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 working at Shoppers Food & Pharmacy on Thursday ratified a new, two-year collective bargaining agreement that raises their living standards, protects their health and retirement security, and is comparable to the contract recently ratified by Giant and Safeway workers.

“This is a first-rate contract,” said Mary Robertson, a Local 400 member who works for Shoppers and served on the Bargaining Advisory Committee. “I sat across the table from management and saw first-hand how the company tried to put the squeeze on us. But they failed and now, with this agreement, we know we’re being treated fairly and that we’re sharing in the success that our hard work makes possible.”

Mary Robertson (left) with coworker and fellow UFCW Local 400 member, Mary Ussery. Both work at Shoppers #2366 where they serve as Shop Stewards. This year, they both had the opportunity to serve on the Bargaining Advisory Committee. Photo by Karlyn Williams

Key contract provisions covering 2,500 Local 400 members include immediate bonus payments and across-the-board wage increases next July; full funding of health benefits with no increase in members’ out-of-pocket costs and improved coverage in areas such as HPV vaccinations and endodontic care (root canals); continued retirement security with all current pension benefits maintained and new steps to resolve funding issues. Shoppers’ demands defeated by Local 400 include an end to health care Maintenance of Benefits, treatment of Sunday as part of the regular work week, elimination of daily overtime, and monthly health care co-payments by retirees.