Union Food Drive for a Fair Contract!

Our employers have demonstrated time and again that they don’t value the hard work we do. You’ve heard the bargaining updates that the employers have proposed to increase our medical insurance costs while having not offered any wage increases to allow us to provide for ourselves and our families.

These disrespectful contract proposals come on the heels of an increasing corporate trend to cut hours so that many of us are living paycheck to paycheck.

Enough is enough! We refuse to stand by and watch our co-workers go hungry – our employers should be ashamed to know that so many of us have to rely on food stamps, food boxes and partial unemployment. If our employers won’t take the necessary steps to support us, we will stand together with our fellow co-workers and Union Members to do what we have to do to survive day-to-day, and build our strength to fight for the power to feed our families.

That’s what our Union Food Drive is all about. Help us send a message to corporate that we will not stand by another day and accept these working conditions or these ridiculous contract proposals.

Look for a food drive box in your store’s breakroom, and donate a can of food by December 7th, that will help the local food bank that helps our fellow union-members in need. If you don’t find a food drive box or have any questions, please contact the Food Bank Captain for the store or ask your union rep, and be sure to talk to a co-worker today about why you are standing strong for a fair contract!

Bargaining Update for November 28th, 2012

This week, our Unity Bargaining Committee came together to stand up for us all against employer proposed takeaways. The Employers are:

  • Proposing your annual family out of pocket max to go to $12,000.
  • Proposing the waiting period for comprehensive coverage to go from 44 months to 78 months.
  • Proposing some employee’s coverage to drop to 65%.

Our employers still feel that, we the workers, should have to pay even more out of pocket. We as workers must stand together in unity and stop any healthcare offer that under-funds benefits that take care of us and our families. The Employers are:

  • NOT offering you wage increases.
  • NOT agreeing to appropriately fund your healthcare.
  • NOT agreeing to respect your 5 day work week.

As a Union, we cannot accept any offer that damages us in the short term or trades away our future. The Unity Bargaining Committee will meet again next week to defend our benefits and work hard to create a better future for all of us. We are committed to rebuilding our dignity and restoring respect to our grocery industry. Stay tuned for more information after next week’s bargaining session.

“I will continue to work with our entire bargaining team to make sure that we protect our health care and strengthen our contract. Now is not the time to back down! Now, more than ever, is the time to stand together and hold the line for ourselves, our families, and our future!”

Ricardo Morales, Hood River Safeway
Unity Bargaining Team Member

Sign the Petition to Support

In a battle that began with members in Eugene in February of 2011, you and your
grocery coworkers throughout Oregon and SW Washington continue to fight your
employers to get a fair contract with affordable healthcare. In recent negotiations
the employers have continued to push proposals that will reduce healthcare benefits
for many members, increasing the burden of healthcare costs onto you and your
family. In addition to attacking member’s healthcare benefits, the employers are
still attacking other benefits and guarantees that you currently enjoy.

Along with the employers’ proposal to eliminate the 5 day work week, the employers
are also trying to get the right to dip into your paycheck without restriction if they
make a payroll or deduction error. The state of Oregon has laws in place that
protect your paycheck, but the employers want to try and take those rights away
from you through your contract, and allow them unfettered access to your check.

The full bargaining committee representing Oregon and SW Washington will be
meeting with your employers on November 26 & 27. They stand steadfast in their
commitment to get the fair contract for you that includes affordable healthcare.

Grocery workers deserve respect!  Support UFCW 555 members in their fight by signing the petition in support of their contract negotiations.

Click here to sign the petition.

Support Your Local Grocery Workers

Come and show your support for your local grocery clerks, meat department workers, and courtesy clerks.  A few of weeks ago, they were at the bargaining table with their employers and were handed the worst healthcare offer they have ever received.

On October 19th, we will be having a solidarity shop at stores throughout Oregon and Southwestern Washington to show support for these workers! Come to a store and shop as you normally would, and while there be sure to tell your local grocery workers and their managers that you support the workers in their fight for a fair contract with affordable healthcare.

Your local grocery and meat workers deserve a fair wage structure, a secure retirement plan, and affordable healthcare. Come out on October 19th and show your support!

Download the Solidarity Shop Flier for locations and times.

2013 Northwest Hope Foundation Scholarships

The Northwest Hope Foundation is pleased to announce that this year there will be
up to thirteen (13) Scholarship Awards of up to $2,000.00 each. These awards
must be used at an accredited college or university, technical or vocational school,
or junior or community college for any courses of study. The Scholarship Award is
to help pay for tuition, fees, books, educational expenses, and educational
materials for the academic year 2013-2014.

For more information click here to download the application, or you may contact the Northwest Hope Foundaton at 1-800-452-8329 ext. 6354 or send
questions to shumphrey@ufcw555.org.

Update on Employers Proposal to Reduce Healthcare Benefits

The employers are trying to gut the healthcare benefits that protect you and your families, just to keep even MORE of the money you bring in for your employer.

The employers want to:

  • Increase the minimum waiting time to receive full health care coverage from 43 months to a minimum of 78 months
  • Increase annual deductibles by up to 300%
  • Reduce after deductible coverage to as low as 60%
  • Double the annual maximum out of pocket costs for some members
Go to our Facebook page and share what you think of the employers’ proposal or how it would impact you.

Click here to download the current bargaining update flyer.

Unity Bargaining Update – 08/31/12

On August 28 & 29 the Health & Welfare Subcommittee of the Unity Bargaining team met with the employers to have further discussions on merging the Union’s two different health & welfare trust plans, the Portland Area Employers Health Trust (PAC) and the Joint Labor Management Retail Trust (JLMRT).

The Union Subcommittee had previously suggested a plan that would restore benefits for those currently under the JLMRT plan to the PAC level of benefits with some increased benefits in plan design and increased contributions from the employers.  The employers countered on August 28th with a proposal that would significantly alter and reduce what you currently receive for health & welfare benefits.

This suggestion for a merged plan comes on the heels of the employer’s draconian proposals made in bargaining three weeks earlier to eliminate the 5 day work week.  Not only do the employers want to be able to work you up to 7 days per week, scheduling you as little as 28 hours in the entire week and giving you no days off, they now want to reduce the health & welfare benefits that you and your family depend upon.  More information will be provided on the impact to you of the employers proposal after it has been further evaluated.

Additional dates have been scheduled the health & welfare subcommittee to meet with the employers on October 8th & 9th where discussions will continue for your new contract.