UFCW Local 5 Safeway Negotiations
Local 5 and Safeway met on June 2nd and 3rd to continue bargaining a successor collective bargaining contract. Local 5 and Safeway began the process believing that the parties could reach agreement in short order with a two year contract, which has not occurred. The process began in the right direction with few non-economic proposals from both sides, and health and welfare costs projected to continue to be tame into the near future.
Both sides presented wage proposals last week. Although this was the initial proposal from Safeway representatives, it did not leave much optimism with the Union bargaining committee that a fair and equitable agreement for Local 5 members will come easy.
Ups and downs in the economy are not new, and many of our members in the retail grocery business have experienced many in their careers. 2008 to 2012 was an excruciatingly painful economic period for our country and our Local 5 employers did not escape the recession’s wrath. Significant economic concessions were granted by our members to several Union employers to get them through the severe economic downturn and keep them in business.
Although Safeway was not one suffering from economic hardship, the recession also had a significant effect on their bottom line. Members realized this and stepped up to grant some modest concessions while settling for only one lump payment over three years.
It is now 2015, the Great Recession is one for the history books, and it is time for decent wage increases. The Bay Area economy is booming, jobs are at all-time highs, cities are raising minimum wages at a rapid pace and our Union grocery employers are finding it hard to recruit and retain employees.
The bargaining parties are in the process of setting additional dates for negotiating. Please continue to stay strong and tell management you deserve decent wage increases and not paltry lump sum bonuses.
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