Saturday, November 17, 2007

UFCW Unions in Northern California Vote Overwhelmingly to Approve Contract With Regional Supermarkets

ROSEVILLE, CALIF. (Nov. 17, 2007) — UFCW Union members in Northern California voted overwhelmingly to approve a new four-year contract with Save Mart (Lucky in the Bay Area), Raley’s and Bel Air Markets.

“This contract harkens back to a time when Union members rightfully expected their wages and benefits to improve with each new contract,” said Union Presidents Ron Lind (UFCW Local 5,, Jacques Loveall (UFCW 8-Golden State,, Mike Borstel (UFCW Local 101, and Michael Sharpe (UFCW Local 648,

The pact includes the largest across-the-board wage increase in the history of Northern California grocery industry contracts. It also improves medical benefits and reduces or eliminates medical deductibles. As before, the UFCW members will not be required to pay premiums for health care.

The contract also establishes a single benefit fund, allowing for more effective administration of benefits and providing more leverage in obtaining value for the members from service providers.

The four presidents predicted that the agreement would be a model for future labor agreements in North America. “It implements many innovative and progressive ideas,” they said. “It is a ‘win-win’ for Union members and for the companies.”

The concession-free agreement bucks the trend of wage-freezes and benefit cutbacks that have characterized labor contracts across the nation in recent years.

The four UFCW Unions bargained collectively under the banner of UFCW Solidarity for these contracts that cover some 25,000 members in nearly 300 supermarkets throughout Northern California.Negotiations with Safeway Inc. are ongoing.