Members of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 at Lanham, Md.-based Shoppers Food & Pharmacy have ratified a three-year collective bargaining agreement by a wide margin. The new contract, hammered out after months of bargaining and multiple extensions of the old agreement in place, raises employees’ wages and maintains their health and retirement benefits.
Negotiations dealt with a variety of complex issues including higher costs imposed by the Affordable Care Act. "This is a solid contract that compares well to others in the industry," noted Local 400 President Mark P. Federici.
Key provisions of the contract include guaranteed wage increases of up to 90 cents/hour over three years, with all of the agreement's financial benefits coming in the form of permanent raises rather than one-time bonuses; higher employer contributions to fully fund pension benefits; health care maintenance of benefits, ensuring that Shoppers will contribute whatever is necessary to the health care fund to pay all benefits; spouses continuing to be covered by the health benefit plan; overtime continuing to be paid for work exceeding eight hours in any day; and Sunday continuing to be treated separately from the basic work week.
"We will remain vigilant to ensure that the contract is fully enforced, and we will work together with Shoppers to expand the company's share of the market in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area," said Federici.
The agreement, which covers 2,500 workers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, takes effect retroactively as of July 13, 2014, and expires on July 8, 2017.
Shoppers, a division of Minneapolis-based Supervalu, operates 56 locations in the D.C. metro area.