Press Conference Recap

Today, our Union went public with our struggles of choosing between feeding our families, going to the doctor, or putting a roof over our heads. We invited members of the community to speak in front of the press as well as hundreds of our members.  The consensus is that our needs, not the employers, are what is important to the public.  Among those speaking were Portland Mayor Elect Charlie Hales, who voiced his support for our fight for a fair contract that includes affordable healthcare and a fair wage structure.  Faith leaders and leaders of other unions showed their support for our fight for a fair contract.

Members, who are having a hard time making ends meet because their stores do not give them enough hours during the holidays, also came to the press conference to pick up food boxes.  The employers, sitting in the lobby, watched as member after member carried out boxes to their cars to feed their families.  These same employers will go home tonight not having to worry about rent or feeding their families.  Their lack of worry is because you shoulder their burden.  The customers see you when they come in to shop, not the employers.  You are who the public cares about.  The communities around our workplaces stand with us in solidarity, as do other Unions and politicians, and the employers know it. The fight for a fair contract is a fight we will win with full support of the public at large.


Union Action Tomorrow 12/10/2012

An action is scheduled for Monday (Tomorrow), December 10th, at 11:45. Be at the Holiday Inn by the Portland International Airport and show the employers that you are serious about your contract.

The address is:

8439 Northeast Columbia Boulevard Portland, OR 97220

If you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative.

If you are available to come, it would go a long way in the fight for a fair contract.

See you tomorrow!

Bargaining Update for December 5th, 2012

After Finishing Bargaining today, here are the results:

The Positives

• We delivered a petition with 15,000 supporters to the employers during bargaining. Community members representing the 15,000 supporters on the petition spoke to the employers directly.

• The employers have come around to our way of thinking on merging the overall health plans.

• We were finally presented with language for a meat proposal, even if it is far from where it needs to be.


• The employers are still proposing a medical plan that many in our Union can’t afford.

• The employers are still proposing the elimination of the 5 day work week.

• The employers have still not given us a proposal that includes any wage increases.

We will be meeting again with the employers on Monday, December 10th.

The Delivery of the Petition

On Tuesday, December 4th, your Unity Bargaining Committee, in conjunction with members of our communities, faith leaders, and elected officials, delivered a petition signed by 15,000 supporters to your retail employer.

Your employers seem dead set on underfunding your healthcare plan, eliminating your five day work week, and neglecting your wage structure, but…

15,000 community and union members completely understand and support you and your co-workers in your fight for respect.

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.