The merger of UFCW 588
and UFCW 1288 on May 1, 2006 to form UFCW 8 - Golden State further strengthened an already strong Union.
Since the merger, the combined 30,000 - member UFCW 8 has:
• Negotiated a new four-year contract with Save Mart, Raley’s and Bel Air Markets. It includes the largest across-the-board wage increase in the history of Northern California grocery industry contracts; continuation of no employee-paid premiums for health care; and the creation of a single benefit fund to streamline claims and processing of Health & Welfare and Pension benefits.
• Organized 1,300 workers at 17 Food Maxx stores from Visalia in the South to Redding in the North, significantly increasing the Union’s negotiating power with all employers in those areas.
• Received the UFCW International Union’s Growth and Organizing Award. UFCW 8 strongly believes that the key to revitalizing the labor movement in America is through intensive, innovative, ongoing organizing campaigns to bring the benefits of a Union contract to as many workers as possible.
• Agreed to a solidarity pact with UFCW locals in the Bay Area. This increases the Union’s strength throughout Northern California and translates into more clout at the bargaining table that can lead to better wages and benefits for the members of all UFCW Unions.
• Contracted with MedExpert to help members and their families get the best health care possible at no extra cost to them by being able to speak with doctors whenever they have questions about their health or their health plan.
• Supported community efforts in Elk Grove and Stockton that led to ordinances that limit “big box” stores.
• Participated in a lawsuit that prompted a judge to reverse an appeal by Atwater, Calif.,p city officials of plans to build a giant SuperTarget store. In his decision, Merced County Superior Court Judge Ronald Hansen ruled that the project’s potential environmental impact on the community should have been studied more extensively before it was submitted to Atwater planning officials.
The most recent merger occurred in 2008 as the members of UFCW Local 45D and UFCW 8-Golden State voted overwhelmingly to combine forces to increase the size and strength of their Union.
Truly, UFCW 8- Golden State has come a long way since 1937 when 17 dedicated, farseeing volunteers laid the groundwork and signed the first pact covering 319 members for an organization that today numbers in excess of 30,000 members.
But, as we pause in this historic occasion, we must pay tribute to those who worked so long and so diligently for the cause of bettering the lot of the common man: those who were the forgotten people.
And, while paying tribute to those pioneers who gave so much that the cause might live, we must look to the future and to the thousands of workers, still unorganized, for whom our work has just begun.