Negotiations Update For Members Working At Macy’s
Monday, July 21, 2014
Special Macy’s Negotiation Update
UFCW Local 5
With a voter turnout of more than 1000, Local 5 Macy’s members sent a strong message to the company last week with a vote of nearly ninety percent to reject its final offer and authorize a strike.
At the request of the Federal Mediator, both sides have agreed to return to the bargaining table and dates are being scheduled. Given the outcome of the vote, we are hopeful that Macy’s will address the concerns that you have expressed over the company’s inadequate and unacceptable offer.
While we will continue to work hard to resolve the issues, we must prepare for economic action against the company if we do not reach a mutually agreeable settlement. Local 5 has requested strike sanction from the UFCW International Union and from the San Francisco Labor Council and we anticipate approval this week. Bargaining committee members and stewards will meet this week to discuss logistics including picket schedules, strike benefits, community outreach and so on.
In the meantime, your current contract remains in effect under an extension agreement that requires a 72-hour notice for termination. No deadline has been set and renewed talks may continue well into August.
Stay informed, get involved and continue to let Macy’s know that you are ready and willing to fight for a fair contract.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Thursday, July 17, 2014
With nearly 1,000 members getting out to vote on Macy’s ‘last, best and final’ offer, Local 5 members overwhelmingly voted to reject their proposal.
By the numbers: 119 – Yes 866 – No
Local 5 President Ron Lind stated, “Our members have sent a clear message to the company: We want a fair agreement and we are willing to fight for it.” Details about next steps will be posted soon.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Due to a post office delay, many of you have not received the contract information packets that were mailed early last week. You should receive the material soon and copies will be available at our meetings on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
We will do our best to provide a complete explanation of the proposed changes to your contract at the meetings prior to asking you to vote and we may schedule an additional voting opportunities if necessary. More details will be provided at the meetings. We apologize for this complication that is beyond our control and urge you to participate in this important process.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
The attached documents have been mailed out to Local 5 members working at Macy’s. Please review all documents and we hope to see you all at the Special Meetings this week to answer any questions and to vote.
Again, meeting dates, times and location are as follows:
Wednesday, July 16 at 8:00AM or 6:30PM
Temple Baptist Church (Near Stonestown Shopping Center)
3355 19th Avenue
Thursday, July 17 at 8:30AM or 6:30 PM
UFCW Local648 (Near 16th and Mission BART Station)
1980 Mission Street
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Meeting times, dates and locations have now been set for you to vote on your employers “Last, Best and Final” offer for a new union contract: Special Union Meetings: Wednesday, July 16 at 8:00AM or 6:30PM Temple Baptist Church (Near Stonestown Shopping Center) 3355 19th Avenue Thursday, July 17 at 8:30AM or 6:30 PM UFCW Local648 (Near 16th and Mission BART Station) 1980 Mission Street Voting will also be allowed at the Union’s 3rd Floor conference room on Geary Blvd. from 11AM to 5 PM on July 17 (Union Representatives will be available to answer questions) It is urgent that you attend one of these meetings so that you can ask questions prior to voting to accept the offer or to reject it and authorize a strike against Macy’s.
Friday, June 27, 2014
After careful consideration of Macy’s “last, best and final” offer for a new contract, your bargaining committee has determined that we cannot recommend approval. While the offer is an improvement over the company’s most recent position on several issues, including limiting key dates and protecting base schedules for more senior employees, it still includes unacceptable provisions around commission conversion, sales goal requirements and other items.
After twenty long and difficult days of negotiations starting on April 3 we are confident that we have moved the company as far as possible without resorting to a labor dispute. Now, the final decision is up to you. You will receive a complete document with all of the proposed changes in the mail at the end of next week. Included in your packet will be information about meetings that will take place at various times near both stores on July 16 and 17. At those meetings, and throughout the day near both stores, you will be given the opportunity to ask questions before voting to accept the offer or to authorize a strike. We urge you to read the material carefully and to attend one of the meetings and to cast your secret ballot vote. Your collective decision will impact your livelihood in the short-term and for years to come. Whether you choose to accept the proposal or to authorize a strike, your participation is critical.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Negotiations resumed on Wednesday at 10 AM. After some additional clarification and discussion of on-line scheduling, talks turned to other issues including wages, commissions, key dates and sales goals. While the company continued to press for a recommended settlement, Local 5’s president and chief negotiator Ron Lind made it clear that absent substantial movement in the union’s direction on the remaining issues, such an agreement would not be possible. After several rounds of proposals and counter-proposals the company informed us at 8 PM that it would consider our most recent comprehensive proposal and deliver its “last, best and final” offer to us some time on Friday. The union committee will carefully review this offer to determine whether or not it will recommend acceptance or rejection with an authorization to call a strike. We are currently working to coordinate meeting sites and times and processes to provide you with complete information prior to a vote. Details will be provided as soon as they are available. This process will take several weeks but in the meantime, your current contract will remain in effect. While we may still have a long and difficult path to a settlement, your solidarity and participation over the last several weeks has made a tremendous difference. Depending on the content of the company’s final offer, an even greater level of support will be critical
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Your Local 5 negotiating team will return to the bargaining table with Macy’s Management today with the continued assistance of the federal mediator. After a break on Thursday, we are scheduled to resume on Friday. As a reminder, the union has agreed to allow management to conduct informational meetings with employees about its on-line scheduling system this week. We encourage you to listen respectfully, participate and ask questions, particularly related to seniority rights and flexibility around vacation requests, childcare, school and other legitimate scheduling concerns. With twenty bargaining sessions behind us this will be a critical week as progress has slowed, particularly over the issue of hourly wages and other compensation. While we will continue to work hard to get a fair and peaceful settlement it is clear that if the company does not make serious movement on its current offer over the next several days, a labor dispute is likely. While we hope for the best outcome, we must also prepare for a fight. Last night, the Local 5 executive board approved a weekly strike benefit of $250 in the event that we do not reach an agreement or vote to approve a complete offer. We have also contacted our International Union and other unions to update them and solidify their support. The best way to avoid a strike is to let management know that you are willing and ready to walk the picket line if necessary to get the settlement that you deserve. The company’s campaign of intimidation and misinformation will intensify this week as we continue to press management representatives on our bargaining issues. Our success at the table is directly related to the strength and support of our members. Stay together. Stay strong.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
On Wednesday, your Local 5 bargaining team met with the company late into the evening. While this was the 19th negotiation session overall it was the first with the assistance of federal mediator Joel Schaffer. At the mediator’s request, the union carefully outlined its position on current issues including:
- A substantial wage increase in each year of the contract.
- Protecting commissions for current and future employees.
- Continuing to limit “Key Dates”.
- Eliminating the sales goal requirement for wage increase eligibility.
- Night Premium
Committee members also made clear your concerns over scheduling rights and seniority, particularly relating to the implementation of My Schedule Plus. As a result, the company has agreed to schedule a full presentation of their proposed on-line scheduling system to all impacted associates prior to concluding negotiations. Company representatives will make an initial presentation to the committee next Wednesday, June 25 prior to ongoing bargaining in the afternoon and will then roll out the presentation in both stores over the following week. We have also scheduled a bargaining date for June 27. In the meantime, the contract extension will stay in place with either side having the option to cancel with 72 hours notice. Your engagement and participation are making a difference. Stay involved, stay informed and stick together. It’s your contract and your union!
Saturday, June 14, 2014
After individual discussions with the chief negotiators for Macy’s and Local 5, the Federal Mediator believes that he may be able to assist in reaching a settlement and has asked the company and the union to return to the bargaining table. Both sides have agreed to do so and a bargaining session has been set for next Wednesday, June 18. As a sign of good faith, the mediator has also requested that Local 5 postpone its strike authorization meetings in return for an agreement by the company to reinstate and extend our current contract. Both sides have agreed. We are hopeful that with the assistance of the mediator we can reach a fair and equitable settlement that we can recommend for your approval. While we must continue to prepare for a potential labor dispute, your union committee will work hard to bring negotiations to a peaceful resolution. This initial agreement to extend our contract and return to the bargaining table is a large step in the right direction. In the meantime, get involved, stay informed and wear your union button proudly. We will provide daily updates beginning next Wednesday.
Friday, June 13, 2014
Your union committee walked away from the bargaining table at 10 PM on Thursday night when a new and unrealistic management comprehensive contract proposal made it clear that we were far from an agreement just hours before the company-imposed deadline.
If Macy’s is serious about reaching a settlement that respects and rewards the work that our members do to make the company profitable and successful we are willing to resume discussions prior to our strike vote meetings on June 19. I have discussed this seriousness of this matter with our International Union president as well as a federal mediator over the last 24 hours.
In the meantime, continue to work and provide the excellent customer service that distinguishes skilled union retail workers from others. While your contract has expired, your wages, benefits and working conditions are intact. Don’t let Macy’s attempt to divide and distract you with false and misleading propaganda work. If you stick together and indicate a strong resolve to stand up for your rights, we will win the contract that you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Why are negotiations taking so long? Answer: The process is complicated and the contract hasn’t been renegotiated for six years. The company is proposing a lot of changes, particularly with respect to scheduling.
Question: What happens if we don’t agree with everything that the company wants? Answer: We can take action to make the company change its position. This could include handing flyers to customers, demonstrating at our stores and other Macy’s stores and possibly a strike.
Question: Who decides if we go on strike? Answer: Employees must vote to authorize a strike by at least a 2/3 majority.
Question: Will we get paid if we go on strike? Answer: The company will not pay you during a strike. Local 5 has nearly $7 million in its strike fund and the International Union has much more. The union will pay you between $200 and $300 per week during a strike.
Question: Can the company fire me if I go on strike? Answer: You have a legal right to strike. It would be a violation of federal labor law to discipline you for exercising that right.
Question: What happens to my benefits during a strike? Answer: Depending on the length of a strike, you could lose benefit eligibility. The union has funds to help members who have emergency medical situations.
Question: How long will a strike last? Answer: The length of a strike is directly related to the participation of members on the picket line and our ability to keep customers from shopping. The most recent Local 5 strike was against Raley’s Food Stores and lasted nine days. It was a victory for the union members.
Question: How do I get involved in helping us succeed? Answer: There are a lot of ways that you can help. Wearing your union button is a good start. For more details talk to your union rep or shop steward or check the Local 5 web site and be sure to attend one of the June 19 meetings.
Get the facts – don’t be swayed by false and misleading company propaganda.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
This is a special negotiation update for Local 5 members working at Macy’s. After more than fifteen days of bargaining your union bargaining committee and the company have failed to reach an agreement for a new contract. While a new company proposal that we received today was a step in the right direction, several hurdles remain: 1. The company is proposing to implement its on-‐line scheduling system but has failed to adequately address all of our seniority concerns. 2. Macy’s has introduced a pension proposal that will save the company hundreds of thousands of dollars while only offering small annual wage increases for employees in return. 3. Future wage increases would continue to be tied to company-‐controlled sales goal quotas under the company’s proposal. 4. New hourly employees would be paid at slightly above the minimum wage with no commission and no guaranteed wage increases ever, creating a Walmart style work environment and giving the company a huge incentive to eliminate current higher-‐paid workers. When you tie these and other company proposals and an ongoing unwillingness to address many of the union committee’s concerns to the company’s refusal to extend the contract beyond Thursday night, it’s clear that management wants to test your resolve and willingness to fight for a fair contract. While your union committee will continue to work toward a settlement even if the contract expires, its time to send a clear, strong and unified message to the company that you are ready to take whatever action is necessary to achieve the settlement that you expect and deserve. Special meetings have been set for June 19. Your attendance and participation at these meetings is crucial. We hope that we will be able to present a recommended settlement to you on that day but unless Macy’s position changes in the coming days, the main agenda item for those meetings will be a vote to authorize action against the company including a possible strike. Further details on times and locations will be available soon. Click here to listen to the audio file that was sent to Members at Macy’s.