We met with the company late into (Tuesday) night and into this morning. What Safeway has proposed is still far from our tentative agreement with Giant. With 29 hours remaining until our vote, we are still no closer to a deal and we remain prepared to take a strike vote tomorrow.
We remain far apart on several issues regarding the pension fund. We do not even agree on basic facts at this point. The company’s proposal still does not fully fund our pension. They have not proposed details for how they would provide future pension benefits and they do not have a proposal that ensures benefits will be paid when one of our current pension funds goes insolvent next year.
Today (Wednesday) we are convening a meeting to decide next steps with our Bargaining Advisory Committee, a team of Safeway and Giant union workers who help to lead negotiations with the company. We will have an announcement to share shortly after that meeting today.
As of now, we are continuing to prepare to go on strike at Safeway if we do not have a fair agreement.
March 5th: Contract Vote at Giant, Strike Vote at Safeway
Tomorrow, we are holding two meetings with union members. The first meeting is at 8:00 a.m. in the morning with Giant Food members, where we will present the tentative agreement that we reached with the company a few weeks ago. The offer will be explained in detail and members will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the proposal. We are recommending our members vote in favor of the offer, and if a majority of members do so, the new contract will take effect shortly after the meeting.
The second meeting for Safeway members will be held at 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon. We will review whatever offer is on the table from Safeway. If Safeway continues to refuse to fully fund our pension, it is our expectation that a majority of members will vote to reject the proposal. We will then take a second vote to authorize a strike. A two-thirds majority vote of the membership is required to authorize a strike.