Friday, October 26, 2007

UFCW Northern California Unions Reach Tentative Agreement with Major Regional Supermarkets

ROSEVILLE, CALIF. (Oct. 26, 2007) — UFCW Union leaders and representatives from Save Mart, Raley’s and Bel Air Markets announced today that they have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract affecting approximately 25,000 workers in nearly 300 locations throughout Northern California.

The current agreement with UFCW Locals 5, 8, 101 and 648 was to have expired on Dec. 1, 2007. No specifics on the new pact were released pending distribution of the agreement to Union members.

In a statement, the UFCW presidents did reveal: “Our goals were to achieve:
• Substantial wage increases
• No employee-paid premiums for medical benefits
• Improvements to the medical benefits
• Protection of pension benefits
• No concessions

"We have accomplished our bargaining goals and more. This agreement is an excellent example of progressive labor-management relations,” the presidents said.

“Negotiating this contract was particularly complicated in light of the challenges facing our industry and our country, specifically in the area of health care. Protecting and improving upon the hard-earned wages and benefits our members enjoy is always our top priority.”

The statement came from Union Presidents Ron Lind (UFCW Local 5), Jacques Loveall (UFCW 8-Golden State), Mike Borstel (UFCW Local 101) and Mike Sharpe (UFCW Local 648).

Union leaders said they are recommending the membership ratify the new agreement. Negotiations with Safeway and the four UFCW Northern California Unions are ongoing.

Union members will receive details of the new agreement, as well as ratification ballots, by mail next week. Ballots will be counted by mid-November.
Thursday, October 18, 2007


UFCW 8-Golden State President Jacques Loveall Hails Galt’s Passage of ‘Big Box’ Ordinance, Wal-Mart’s Bid to Build a Supercenter Faces More Obstacles

Galt, Calif. (Oct. 18, 2007) — Jacques Loveall, president of UFCW 8-Golden State, said that Tuesday’s vote by Galt’s city council was an important step toward blocking construction of a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the community.

The council voted 4-1 to ban construction of “big box” stores larger than 140,000 square feet that sell large quantities of non-taxable goods like groceries. It also ordered Wal-Mart to acquire a conditional-use permit from the city.

“We would have preferred that the council approved the Planning Commission’s recommendations, which would have set the limit at 120,000 square feet,” Loveall said. “But the new ordinance puts the city’s concerns about Wal-Mart on record.”

Wal-Mart says it wants to build a 132,000-square-foot Supercenter, selling groceries as well as other items, in Galt. However, before it can obtain its conditional-use permit the company must demonstrate that the project will not aggravate traffic, pollution, crime and other problems in the city.

Galt has joined a long list of California communities that have put limits on Wal-Mart and other large-scale retailers. In August, Stockton’s city council voted to stop construction of more Supercenters.

The growing trend of resistance to big box stores began in Sacramento and the Southern California city of Inglewood. Soon, other California communities such as Hercules, Elk Grove and Northridge joined in. Now, anti-big box battles are raging in Ontario, Porterville, Rosemead, Fortuna, Ripon, Antioch, Oakland, Tujunga and the Lugonia District of Redlands.

UFCW 8-Golden State is on the front lines of the big box fight, working with community groups to stop the onslaught of massive chain stores that drive local businesses into bankruptcy and provide sub-par wages and benefits to employees.

“Communities now understand that these anti-Union companies are economic liabilities,” Loveall said. “They drive down wages and cost more in city services than they generate in revenue.”

In the face of rising opposition in communities like Stockton and Galt, Wal-Mart has been forced to severely cut back its plans to open Supercenters in California.

UFCW 8-Golden State represents some 30,000 members who work in stores, plants and offices from the California-Oregon border in the north to Fresno County in the south.
Thursday, October 4, 2007

UFCW 8 Supermarket Contract Extended to Dec. 1

All UFCW Contracts in Northern Calif. With Save Mart, Raley’s and Safeway Now Share Common Expiration Date

ROSEVILLE, CALIF. (Oct. 4, 2007) — UFCW 8-Golden State and three major supermarket chains — Save Mart, Raley’s and Safeway — have agreed to extend their current collective bargaining agreement until Dec. 1, 2007, the same as all other UFCW Unions in Northern California.

“Achieving the same expiration date as UFCW Locals 5, 101 and 648 enables our Unions to align the interests of all UFCW members in Northern California to achieve the finest possible contracts,” said Jacques Loveall, president of UFCW 8-Golden State.

The contracts affect some 40,000 workers in 800 locations in Northern California, all part of the UFCW Solidarity alliance.

The extension past the original expiration date of Oct. 6 also gives UFCW 8 and the employers more time to work through complicated issues that must be resolved before they reach a new agreement.

Loveall also announced that negotiators have agreed that any wage increases in the new agreement will be applied retroactively to Oct. 6. In the meantime, members of UFCW 8 will work under the same terms that have determined their wages, benefits and working conditions since 2004.

Some 30,000 UFCW 8-Golden State members work in stores, plants and offices from the California-Oregon border in the North to Fresno County in the South.