Little Progress in Safeway Negotiations, Company Makes Insulting and Unrealistic Wage Proposal
Two days of negotiations between the Local 5 and 648 bargaining committee and Safeway management last week yielded little progress. After repeated requests, the second day of talks featured a comprehensive management wage proposal that is unrealistic and insulting to workers striving to make ends meet in an area with one of the highest costs of living in the world.
As costs continue to rise, wages for Safeway workers have stagnated since 2010 rising on an average by sixty cents an hour during the nine-year time period or eight cents an hour per year. Adding to the problem is the fact that excluding Courtesy Clerks and Meat Cutters, less than 25% of Local 5 Safeway members are classified as full-time. For General Merchandise Clerks, the number is worse with the full-time rate lingering at less than 15%. This economically unsustainable combination of short wages and short hours cannot be allowed to persist.
One job should be enough to allow workers to pay the rent, put food on the table and meet their basic economic needs. We will continue to demand a new Safeway contract that includes significant wage increases, more full-time opportunities and affordable healthcare that will create and maintain long-term, sustainable employment for our members.
Future negotiation dates will be scheduled soon. For further information, please visit the Local 5 website at www.ufcw5.org or contact your Union Representative.