Congratulations, Foster Farms Employees!

December 20, 2016 was a great day for Foster Farms Employees: their new five-year contract was ratified! It includes hard money raises each year, locks in the percentage rate for Health & Welfare for the duration of the contract, includes Active Ballot Club (ABC) language, and offers a signing bonus of either $600 or $1,000 for members (depending on their length of service with the company).

Many thanks to the dedicated bargaining committee who worked extraordinarily hard to help their co-workers by getting the best possible contract in place. See inside for more photos on the member spotlight pages.

Fred Meyer Retro Payments: The Full Story

Mike Marshal, Executive Director

First, let me say that I share the frustration our Fred Meyer members have rightfully been feeling due to a series of mistakes in retro payments that affected some of us. I’m writing this to explain the situation to date so that we can all be on the same page. Let me also say that of late we’ve developed a good working relationship with Fred Meyer and it does appear that this was an innocent mistake that was not intended to disrespect or inconvenience our members (even though it felt that way to all of us). I am pleased to have the power of the Union behind us in times like these, so that we can all stand together to help solve problems effectively.

So, what happened? Well, we began getting some complaints from members about the retro checks not being correct shortly after they were initially issued. We spoke with Fred Meyer and asked them to investigate the situation. They discovered that the trouble (about 3,600 checks, originally) was with Kroger’s payroll in Cincinnati. We agreed that Fred Meyer would send out letters to those who were overpaid, outlining their options.

As you may know, some of the calculations in those letters from Kroger’s payroll division turned out to be incorrect. We immediately spoke with Fred Meyer again to alert them. We suggested that transparency in the calculations would make future notifications easier to confirm; they agreed.

Fred Meyer rescinded all of those letters and planned to reissue them after checking again for accuracy. The new letters, at our request, include a statement of hours used to create the retro pay so that we’ll all have a higher degree of confidence and certitude in the numbers used. As of the printing of this newspaper, affected employees should have received those corrected letters.

Under the terms of our Collective Bargaining Agreements with Fred Meyer, they had the right to deduct any amount owed for overpayments that occurred within the last 90 days. However, we worked with them to agree to limit the deductions to no more than $30 per paycheck (unless the member chose otherwise). If you have any further concerns after receiving the new letters, please don’t hesitate to contact your Fred Meyer HR department directly. You may also wish to contact your Union Rep for further assistance.

Thank you to all of you for your patience while we worked with Fred Meyer and Kroger’s home office to resolve this.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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)

A Tentative Agreement has been Reached

Your Retail Unity Negotiating Committee and the representatives from Albertsons, Safeway, and Fred Meyer reached a Tentative Agreement for Local 555 members working under the Grocery, Meat, CCK, and Non-Food contracts in Oregon and SW Washington.

Whether you spoke with your coworkers about negotiations, helped gather signatures on petitions, spoke at negotiations, or helped deliver petitions to managers, your actions made a difference and helped your committee obtain a fully recommended offer.

Details of the Tentative Agreement will be made public after members have had a chance to review the agreement and vote on it. Dates and times for ratification meetings will be forthcoming.

Retail Contract Negotiations Update April 22, 2016

Over the last two days, discussions with the Retail Employers yielded little significant progress.

Your Union Negotiating Committee remains united in seeking solid wage increases for journeypersons for every year of the contract. The Employers admit they have heard your demands for real wage increases, and not mere bonuses, yet they refuse to put hard money wage increases on the table for each contract year.

Your Union Negotiating Committee continues to demand a permanent fix for the problem of the apprentice brackets being overtaken by the rising minimum wages in both Oregon and Washington. The Employers admit the problem exists but they refuse a permanent fix. Addressing the problem in the same way they have always done will result in numerous members in the apprentice brackets making only an entry level wage for several years. As an example, a new member working in a Deli in Portland would make 10¢ over minimum wage for their entire 8,840 hours as an apprentice, resulting in only two wages in that department.

Negotiations resumes on May 11th & 12th. Your committee will continue the fight for better wage increases for journeypersons and apprentices. If you haven’t signed the pledge supporting negotiations, do so right now by going to ufcw555.org/pledge.

Click here to take the pledge!