Local 5 Rite Aid workers and retirees have received more than $200,000 in backpay and bonus awards as a result of two separate grievance actions filed and ultimately won by the union.

The first case revolved around the company’s implementation of the negotiated wage increase for the first year of the current contract. Agreement on the contract was reached in the first half of 2020 and ratified by Rite Aid members in August. It provides for a .75 per hour increase for workers not yet at the experienced rate of pay retroactive to the first payroll period in January 2020.

Based on its interpretation of the agreement, and consistent with how it was implemented with another UFCW local union, the company deducted a .70 per hour minimum wage increase that was implemented prior to the settlement and ratification of the new contract leaving an increase of only five cents per hour in many cases.

Local 5 filed a grievance on behalf of the affected members and ultimately took the case to arbitration. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the union and ordered the company to make members whole for the entire .75 increase. The arbitrator’s decision ultimately resulted in back pay of approximately $87,000 for members in stores throughout the union’s jurisdiction.

The second grievance was filed on behalf of Medicare-eligible retirees who, per the agreement, were to receive a bonus payment as a result of the transition to a new benefit plan. The case was settled prior to arbitration resulting in a total payment of $167,000 for those eligible.

Negotiations Continue


Negotiations are underway for a new Rite Aid contract that “recognizes the hard work and sacrifice of Rite Aid workers during the pandemic and beyond,” says Local 5 Secretary-Treasurer John Frahm.

Bargaining committee goals include maintaining affordable health benefits, providing higher contributions to the pension plan, and fair wage increases for employees in all classifications. Negotiations are scheduled to resume on May 8. For updates, visit the union’s website at www.ufcw5.org and click on the negotiations tab.