2,000 new members have been organized, 2,000 more by the end of the year

By Peter Diaz
Assistant to the President, Organizing Director

There are many ways organizing makes our Union stronger so we can bargain better wages, benefits, and working conditions in our contracts.

Here are two ways organizing can and does make us stronger and improve our working conditions:

First, organizing makes our health plans and our pensions stronger. For every new Albertsons, Fred Meyer, or Safeway employee we organize into the Union, the employers must contribute money on their behalf into our health and pension plans. The more money our employers contribute into our plans, the better funded our plans are.

Second, organizing makes us stronger in contract negotiations. There are more than 17,000 members working at Albertsons, Fred Meyer, and Safeway. While we were bargaining our last contract, there were approximately 5,500-6,000 non-union employees in these stores. This large group of non- union employees makes it nearly impossible for us to threaten any realistic job actions against our employers and that makes us weaker at the bargaining table.

When we organize these employees and represent everyone, we will be able to credibly threaten job actions and therefore be stronger at the bargaining table. This will mean a better contract for everyone.

Since February your Union has organized nearly 2,000 new members who work at Albertsons and Safeway, with a realistic goal of organizing 2,000 more by the end of the year.  Albertsons and Safeway will be contributing into our Health and Pension plans for all these new members, making our plans better funded. These new members will make us stronger when we go into bargaining for our next contract.

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Retro Pay Update 

Fred Meyer corporate offices informed Local 555 that the members who were owed retroactive pay and did not receive it should be limited to the Portland area.

As noted last week, members who did not receive retro pay and are owed it should be getting it this pay cycle. If you do not receive it this Thursday, or do not think your retro pay was calculated correctly, please contract the HR department in your store. They have been instructed by corporate, as well as given the tools, to resolve any issues with retro pay you may have.

If you need additional assistance please contact your Union Representative.

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2016 Washington Primary Endorsements for SW Washington

Your union has endorsed the following candidates in the August Primary Election for their continuing support and advancement of issues that matter to working families. Don’t forget to vote! Ballots are due by August 2nd.

Jim Moeller, 3rd Congressional District, US House of Representatives

Tim Probst, 17th Legislative District, Senator
Dean Takko, 19th Legislative District, Senator
Annette Cleveland, 49th Legislative District, Senator

Brian Blake, 19th Legislative District, Representative, Position 2
Sharon Wylie, 49th Legislative District, Representative, Position 1
Monica Stonier, 49th Legislative District, Representative, Position 2

Mike Karnofski, Cowlitz County Commissioner, District 1
Shawn Nyman, Cowlitz County Commissioner, District 2

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Attention Fred Meyer Members

Fred Meyer Payroll has processed retroactive pay for members working in Oregon and SW Washington. For whatever reason, around 1000 members did not receive their retroactive pay. Your Union has been in communication with Fred Meyer Corporate offices who say they are working to correct the issue, and UFCW 555 members still owed retroactive pay should see that pay next Thursday.  If there is still an issue with your retroactive pay next week, please contact your Union Representative.

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Sherm’s Ratification Votes This Week

Votes are scheduled this week to ratify the contracts for members working for Sherm’s in Medford, Roseburg, and Klamath Falls. Local 555 has reached a tentative agreement with Sherms for all Grocery and Meat contracts in Oregon. There will be Union Votes where you will have a chance to review the agreement and vote on it. UFCW staff will be available to answer any questions. You can drop in anytime during your vote’s day at the following locations.

Sherm’s Klamath Falls
June 29, 2016, @2:00pm
Sherm’s Thunderbird #2
1877 Avalon Street
Klamath Falls, OR 97601‐0212
(in the cooler behind the cutting room)

Sherm’s Medford
June 30, 2016, 9:00am to 6:00pm
Labor Temple
4480 Rogue Valley Hwy.
Central Point, OR 97502

Sherm’s Roseburg
July 1, 2016 9:00am to 6:00pm
Labor Temple
742 S.E. Roberts Avenue
Roseburg, OR 97470

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Update on Retail Raises & Retro

The recent contract settlement agreement with Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Safeway, & QFC provided for Journeyperson wage increases at the start of the new contract, which for some contracts that were already expired, meant retroactive pay. Your union and the company’s labor relations representatives expected that the companies would implement the raises and retro checks within approximately 30 days of ratification. Unfortunately that will not necessarily be the case for all contracts.

Your Union Leadership has been in frequent contact with your employer’s Labor Relations representatives over the last couple weeks to determine why there was a delay in implementation, and have been able to receive the following information:

Fred Meyer & QFC Members:

Kroger payroll opted to process all of the retro contracts at the same time, regardless of ratification date. That, along with the fact that retro for most contracts was recorded in two different payroll systems, caused a bit of a delay. Here is the timeline had been put together by Kroger payroll and finally sent to Fred Meyer Labor Relations this week:

  • June 30th – members will see their new rates on the check they receive this day.
  • June 29th – July 18th – figure all retro owed up until June 18th.
  • July 21st – the associates will see the retro included on the paycheck they receive this day.

Albertsons & Safeway Members:

Your employers are concerned about making sure the increase and retro is implemented correctly, so they have spent extra time to try and make sure they don’t have payroll errors similar to what many of you may have experienced at some point over the last year. Albertsons/Safeway Labor Relations has informed us that while they expect to have the raises and retro pay worked out in the next couple weeks, they do not have a set date from payroll yet.

Your Union will continue to stay on top of this issue and make sure each member entitled to a raise and retro check receives it as soon as possible, and that the raises and retro checks are correct.

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More Contracts Ratifed

In the past few days, numerous contracts were ratified by members in Bend, Burns, The Dalles, Hood River, Klamath Falls and Lakeview. As with previous contracts ratified, the fully recommended offer included:

– Hard money wage increases for Journeypersons each year of the contract, that includes retroactivity for expired contracts.
– Increases to the apprentice brackets, staying ahead of the rises in minimum wage.
– No cost increases to the health and welfare plan.

Full details of the contract will be made available to members who have voted, upon request, and will be made public once all of Local 555’s contracts covered by the fully recommended agreement have had the chance to vote on it. Notification of votes for other contract areas will be announced as they are schedule.

 

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More Contracts Ratified

Today numerous contracts were ratified by members in Eugene, Longview, Newberg, and Vancouver.  As with the Portland area contracts ratified yesterday, the fully recommended offer included:
– Hard money wage increases for Journeypersons each year of the contract, that includes retroactivity for expired contracts.
– Increases to the apprentice brackets, staying ahead of the rises in minimum wage.
– No cost increases to the health and welfare plan.
Additional ratification votes are scheduled for next week.
Full details of the contract will be made available to members who have voted, upon request, and will be made public once all of Local 555’s contracts covered by the fully recommended agreement have had the chance to vote on it.
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Portland Area Ratifies New Contract

Today, the Portland area ratified new three year contracts for Grocery, Meat, CCK, and Non-Food members working for Fred Meyer, Safeway, Albertsons, and QFC. The contracts include:

  • Hard wage increases for Journeypersons each year of the contract, that includes retroactivity for expired contracts.
  • Increases to the apprentice brackets, staying ahead of the rises in minimum wage.
  • No cost increases to the health and welfare plan.

This fully recommended offer comes after over 9 months of work, and could not have happened without your help sending a message to the employers that you deserve better!

The full details of the contract will be made available to Portland area members upon request, and made public once all of Oregon and SW Washington has had the chance to vote on it.

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First Ratification Votes Scheduled

Ratification votes for Local 555 members working under the Grocery, Meat, CCK, and Non-Food contracts with Albertsons, Safeway, Fred Meyer, and QFC in the Portland, Vancouver, Eugene, Longview, and Newberg contract areas have been scheduled. Notification of votes for other contract areas will be announced as soon as they are schedule.

You can come by at any point during the scheduled time for your contact area and take time to review the contract offer and ask questions of Local 555 staff or bargaining committee members before casting your vote. You must be present at your area’s vote and a current union member in order to cast a ballot. See below for dates and times:


Portland Area Contract Votes
Wednesday, May 18th, 2016, 9am – 7pm
(Come to any location)

Double Tree (Portland)
1000 N.E. Multnomah
Portland, OR 97232
(Parking garage hosted by UFCW Local 555, Bike Racks, Tri‐Met MAX Light Rail, and Tri-Met Bus Lines at the Double Tree)

Embassy Suites (Hillsboro)
20001 NW Tanasbourne Drive
Hillsboro, OR 97124

Teamsters Joe Edgar Hall (Eastside)
1850 N.E. 162nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97230

Eugene Area Contract Votes
Thursday, May 19th, 2016, 9am – 7pm

Hilton Hotel
66 E 6th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401

Longview Area Contract Votes
Thursday, May 19th, 2016, 9am – 7pm

UFCW Office
Columbia River Merc Building
1339 Commerce Avenue
Longview, WA 98632
(Public Service Room, 3rd floor)

Newberg Area Contract Votes
Thursday, May 19th, 2016, 9am – 6pm

Chehalem Cultural Center
415 E. Sheridan Street
Newberg, OR 97132

Vancouver Area Contract Votes
Thursday, May 19th, 2016, 9am – 7pm

Towne Place Suites by Marriott
17717 SE Mill Plain Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98683
(Mount Hood Room)

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