Just hours before a planned strike vote, union negotiators for thousands of area supermarket workers announced a tentative settlement.
Early this morning, after meeting with Safeway negotiators every day since Monday, and after six months of negotiations, UFCW Local 400 announced that they had successfully reached a tentative agreement to avert a strike at Safeway. Details of the proposed contract will be presented to Local 400 members later today for a ratification vote.
“These negotiations were long and unusually complex due to the difficult pension issues we needed to resolve,” said Local 400 president Mark Federici, “but I am pleased to say we were able to reach a tentative agreement with Safeway that preserves retirement security for our members. This would not have been possible without a united union membership willing to take a stand for the fair contract they have earned. I couldn’t be more proud of our members at Safeway and I look forward to presenting the details of the proposal at our membership meeting later today.”
The proposed contract includes:
* Increasing company pension contributions by $18.6 million per year, or $74.4 million over the four-year life of the contract
* $49.5 million in overall wage increases over the four-year life of the contract:
* Year 1 – wage increase by $4.0 Million
* Year 2 – wage increase by $8.8 Million
* Year 3 – wage increase by $15.3 Million
* Year 4 – wage increase by $21.4 Million
The Safeway meeting will be held at 1:00 p.m. today, Thursday, March 5 at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center. The union is also holding a meeting this morning at 8:00 a.m. with Giant Food members, who are reviewing and voting on the tentative agreement reached with the company a few weeks ago.
UPDATE: 11a: Local 400 members just voted to ratify a new contract at Giant; read more here.
At both meetings, each offer will be explained in detail and members will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the proposal. Local 400 is recommending that members vote in favor of both offers, and if a majority of members do so, the new contracts will take effect shortly after the meetings.