Little Progress Made in Two Days of Talks With Nob Hill, Picket Line Continues at Non-Union Store
Next Bargaining Session Set For May 15
After more than a two-month delay, Nob Hill negotiators returned to the bargaining table with Local 5’s committee on April 6 and April 12. While the company formally agreed to accept the terms of the major food industry health and pension benefit negotiations scheduled for later this year, little progress was made on its unnecessary and unacceptable concession demands including:
Language that would allow the company to automatically apply lesser terms, conditions and wages from any other major food contract to the Nob Hill agreement.
Add an additional non-union position to the contract, eliminating more union member’s work.
Allow for the scheduling of part-time Meat Cutters, undermining the 40-hour guarantee.
Allow Experienced Food Clerks and All Purpose Clerks to perform Meat Cutter work.
Allow Courtesy Clerks to perform Experienced Food Clerk and All Purpose Clerk work.
With respect to wages, the company continued its failure to realistically address the needs of its employees, offering two lump-sum bonuses totaling around $800 minus taxes for full-time employees and a single $.40 per hour wage increase just prior to the final year of the contract. To make matters worse, a new company wage progression proposal delivered on the second day of talks would significantly increase the time required for part-time workers to reach the top All Purpose Clerk hourly rate.
In response, the Union bargaining committee was quick to remind Nob Hill negotiators of the sacrifices, including wage freezes, that employees agreed to during the “Great Recession” and the small single wage increase implemented during the last three-year contract as the company continued to struggle. As a result, Nob Hill employees have received a dismal $.05 per hour wage increase per year since 2010.
The financial situation for Raley’s, Nob Hill’s parent company, has clearly changed as evidenced by its opening of new stores, the purchase of a large grocery chain in Nevada and the distribution of handsome salary increases to management. Even worse, the company has refused to extend the union contract to new stores including the Nob Hill in Santa Clara. This latest union-busting attempt resulted in a National Labor Relations Board complaint against the company for failing to bargain in good faith. Local 5 has responded with an aggressive Unfair Labor Practice Picket line at the store where UFCW and other union members are asking prospective customers to shop elsewhere until the dispute is resolved.
The time has come for Raley’s to recognize the sacrifices that employees have made over the last eight years by offering a fair deal with meaningful wage increases for everyone. The Union bargaining committee has submitted a full range of proposals for reasonable and well-deserved contract improvements. The next scheduled bargaining date is May 12. For details on how you can help on the Santa Clara Nob Hill picket line contact your union representative.