I’m proud to report that the majority of our contracts for our large and independent grocers were ratified on or before Sunday, March 4. Members voted on Kowalski’s, Jerry’s, and Supervalu & independent grocers’ contracts including King’s County Market Andover, Driskill’s, Almsted’s, Knowlan’s Festival, Haug’s Cub, Radermacher’s Cub, and Oxendale’s. Members from Lunds & Byerlys ratified their three year contract on February 11, raising the bar for all with over $60 million in contract value to members in the first year alone!
I’d like to thank our bargaining committees and their experience, skills and perspectives they brought to the negotiations table. Thank you. Together, we brought your voices and the voices of your coworkers into bargaining through our union proposals to employers. The proposals were a culmination of thousands of surveys collected throughout last summer to show us what we value. Thank you for standing up and voicing your opinion.
We’re continuing to build better lives for our retail grocery members and elevate the industry while doing so. We created a pension remedy solution that will make sure you are able to retire with dignity. The Variable Annuity Pension Plan is the vehicle to reach the retirement security that our members earn and deserve.
Highlights of the contracts can be found on our website and blog at www.ufcw653.org.
Looking ahead, how can we make our next contracts even better?
Throughout all of these busy times working together and building the best contracts possible that bring the most value to our members’ lives, I was able to see our values becoming realized. Now, as we turn toward the rest of the year, I want to share the values I see that drive our Local’s vision. We value the opportunity to have a collective voice in our future. We value family. We value earning good wages and benefits through our hard work. We value these visible benefits in our communities from our hard work performed. We value and deserve the satisfaction of earning a living with dignity and respect.
We live our values stated above in our union in a variety of ways. We ask what is important to you, and we build upon the foundation of your voice. You can see this demonstrated through the building of our stewards’ program, organizing new workers to strengthen our collective voice, contract surveys, increased communications, building communication and action teams around contract negotiations, achieving groundbreaking contracts that raise the bar for the industries we represent, and in our staff that is committed to serving membership.
We will also move forward on building labor peace as we continue to organize and build our membership. We will also begin our hard push on politics to be able to further control our destinies. We need to be able to build the freedom to be in union with each other, and politics are a part of that. Right now it seems the opposite is happening in our country, with proposed laws trying to rip unions apart and make it harder for us to stick together. The threat is real, and the money and corporate power is testing our values. That’s why working together to elect people who represent our values in office, and encouraging laws that reflect our values strengthens how we live and who we want to be.
I encourage you to get inspired, get involved, and STAY involved in our union and help us live our values to our fullest potential.