San Mateo CVS Workers Ratify First Contract

Workers at CVS 9554 unanimously ratified their first contract last month, joining with their colleagues at more than 75 of the company’s stores throughout the Bay Area who have unionized with Local 5.

The settlement came nearly one year after Local 5 was certified by the National Labor Relations Board as the bargaining representative of the store’s 15 workers after they voted in favor of union representation.

For many of the employees at the store, the wait for union representation was even longer, says Bonnie Armanino who has been with CVS for 23 years and is a new Shop Steward.

“We wanted the union when workers at all CVS stores in the Bay Area had the opportunity to join Local 5 several years ago, but our store missed out by one vote,” she explains. “This time we were on a mission, we kept everybody together, didn’t get discouraged and finally got the contract that we deserve.”

While the most compelling issue was rates of pay according to Bonnie, job security was at stake as well. When a 30-year employee at the store was fired for a minor violation of company policy, Local 5 representatives took on her case and even though a contract was not yet in place, and successfully got her reinstated to her former position.

“That was a great example of what union representation means to us,” said Bonnie. “Now we have this protection and job security in writing which is so important with a major company like CVS.”