An empty shelf in a Raley's store in Loomis, Calif., last month
After a complex collective-bargaining process, members of United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) 8-Golden State voted overwhelmingly to ratify new agreements with the Raley’s, Bel Air and Nob Hill supermarket banners. The vote comes in the wake of a tentative agreement between the parties last month.
“Our members appreciate the value and security this contract provides, which would not be possible without the continued solidarity with their union,” said Jacques Loveall, president of Roseville, Calif.-based UFCW 8-Golden State, following the vote count.
The three-year agreements include considerable wage increases; funding for improved health care benefits, with no premiums paid by active employees for their own health care; and the establishment of primary health care clinics throughout the union’s jurisdiction, with enhanced medical services for members at no cost.
Additional contract highlights are as follows:
• Health care for retirees
• Improved funding for the defined-benefit pension plan and re-activation of the supplemental 401(k) plan known as an individual account plan (IAP).
• Extended health care (up to nine months) during disability leave
• A shorter waiting period for new hires to receive health benefits
“The additional pay, expanded sick leave benefits and other measures UFCW 8-Golden State negotiated to address the COVID-19 pandemic recognize the extraordinary contributions retail workers are making while supporting our communities in these times of crisis,” added Loveall.
UFCW 8-Golden State represents about 35,000 members in supermarkets, drug stores, food-processing plants, wineries, distilleries, cannabis facilities, medical offices and other workplaces from the Oregon border in the north to Los Angeles County in the south.
Earlier this month, Raley’s President and CEO Keith Knopf revealed that the company will pay a second community service reward bonus to all hourly associates, based on hours worked and given to workers across the organization, including stores, distribution, pharmacy, production bakery and the support center. The first such reward was announced in March and given out April 3.
The grocer has also instituted many in-store safety measures, among them ramping up its already stringent sanitation standards, especially regarding frequently touched hard surfaces; encouraging the practice of social distancing; the installation of checkstand and pharmacy protective shields in all stores; adjusted protocols to allow for gloves and masks to be worn by employees who want them; and taking associates’ temperatures before their shifts.
Privately owned and family-operated Raley’s operates 129 stores under five banners: Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods, Food Source and Market 5-ONE-5. The West Sacramento, Calif.-based company is No. 27 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.