Meijer, UFCW Local Ink Labor Pact

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 951 have approved a new four-and-a-half year contract with Meijer Inc. based here, the union said.

Nearly 12,000 Meijer workers voted on the contract by mail, with 80 percent of them voting in favor. The tentative agreement was reached on September 28.

Union leaders said the contract protects pension plans, shortens workplace grievance procedures and includes several wage increases. The new pact covers employees in 92 stores ranging from meat cutters and cashiers to truck drivers and maintenance workers.

The new contract does not address health care, which is covered in a separate contract that runs until 2011. A key provision in the new pact bases wage increases on hours worked.

"We believe this contract reflects the needs of our members and those of Meijer and its customers in a time of intense competition and economic challenge in Michigan," said UFCW 951 president Marv Russow, adding that the contract further reflects "extensive input" from it Meijer members.

Other issues that are covered by the new contract are a pension supplement for employees 55 or older with 33 or more years of service who retire next year; changes in scheduling; enhanced job opportunities and postings; and improved pay calculations regarding worker's compensation and short-term disability.

UFCW 951 represents about 30,000 members who work across Michigan at Meijer and other retailers.
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