SoCal Albertsons, Kroger Associates Approve New Contract
Grocery workers in Southern California have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new grocery contract with Kroger’s Ralphs banner and Albertsons and its Vons and Pavilions chains. The vote came days after the parties reached a tentative agreement.
According to United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 770, one of seven locals representing the 40,000-plus grocery workers in the region covered by the contract, the agreement provides the most significant increases in wages and benefits in more than 30 years.
“This agreement is a first step towards securing good, career jobs in the changing grocery industry,” noted Kathy Finn, secretary-treasurer of Los Angeles-based Local 770, which had urged workers to vote to approve the contract. “As important as the hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements to members is the way we got to this contract: by standing together store by store and with our communities to demand recognition of the value we earn these corporations every day.”
Contract details include wage increases of $1.55 and $1.65 per hour, depending on job classification, over the three-year contract; retroactive pay to March 2019; the beginning of the closing of the wage gap between job classifications; more guaranteed work hours for veteran workers; improvements in health care and expansion of access for spouses and family; full funding of pensions; and the creation of a joint Future of Work committee to ensure worker voices are part of the evolution of grocery jobs and industry.
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as meal-kit company Plated. The company is No. 3 on Progressive Grocer's 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.
Cincinnati-based Kroger operates nearly 2,800 retail food stores under various banner names, including Ralphs, employing nearly half a million associates. It is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer's Super 50 list.