California Supermarket Workers Overwhelmingly Ratify Contract

California Supermarket Workers Overwhelmingly Ratify Contract
Safeway's Vons banner was one of supermarket chains whose employees voted to ratify a labor contract covering wages and benefits

Members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) 8-Golden State who work at Albertsons’ Safeway and Vons chains and The Save Mart Cos.’ Save Mart, FoodMaxx and MaxxValue banners in Northern, Central and Southern California have voted overwhelmingly to ratify new labor contracts. The mail-in ballots were counted on Oct. 3-4 at the union’s Roseville and Bakersfield, Calif., offices.

“Our members appreciate the value of their new contracts, which are a model of what can be accomplished through interest-based bargaining,” noted Jacques Loveall, president of Roseville-based UFCW 8-Golden State.

According to the union, the agreements include “meaningful” wage increases for about 14,000 UFCW 8-Golden State members at the five grocery banners. The contracts also guarantee continued funding for benefits, including an additional retirement plan for all members.

“These employers recognized the successes we’ve achieved in progressive health care plan design and our tireless work in reinventing health care delivery,” added Loveall.

In separate talks, members of UFCW 8-Golden State and other UFCW locals in Southern California approved contracts with Albertsons and its Vons banners and Kroger’s Ralphs chain in the region last month. 

However, negotiations are still ongoing between UFCW 8-Golden State and Raley’s and its Bel Air, Nob Hill and Food Source banners in Northern California.

UFCW 8-Golden State represents members working in grocery and drug stores, food-processing plants, distilleries, medical facilities and offices.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos., which operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under 20 banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as New York-based meal-kit company Plated, is No. 3 on PG’s Super 50 list

No. 19 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States, Save Mart operates 83 Save Mart stores throughout California and northern Nevada. The grocery chain is part of The Save Mart Cos., the largest family-owned grocer in California. The company operates 207 traditional and price-impact stores under the Save Mart, Lucky, FoodMaxx and MaxxValue Foods banners. In addition to its retail operation, the company operates Smart Refrigerated Transport and is a partner in Super Store Industries (SSI), which owns and operates a distribution center in Lathrop, Calif., and the Sunnyside Farms dairy-processing plant, in Turlock, Calif.

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