The labor contracts covering members of UFCW 8-Golden State are among the best in the country. They provide industry-leading wages, health and pension benefits, workplace guarantees and job protections.
How is this possible?
What makes us so special?
It’s not a matter of luck. It’s a matter of skill, hard work and — most of all — Union solidarity.
In 2018, we will need to marshal all of these qualities as we prepare for negotiations with several major supermarket companies in Northern and Central California.
Our current three-year agreements with Raley’s, Safeway, Save Mart, Lucky and Nob Hill are set to expire on Oct. 13 and our contract with Bel Air is scheduled to conclude on Dec. 15.
These dates may seem distant as you read these words, but it’s not too early to get ready. Indeed, the coming negotiations for new contracts have been on our minds from the moment our current agreements were ratified by the members back in 2015.
Contract negotiations are rarely easy. The employers will be looking to cut costs wherever they can. To justify their demands, they will point to established non-Union competitors like Walmart and Whole Foods, as well as the looming threats posed by newcomers like Aldi. They will complain of the rising costs of health care benefits.
At the same time, our Union will push for higher standards in every aspect of the contract. This is what we do as your representatives at the bargaining table — and we’re good at it.
We have several factors on our side, including:
• Our members are served by an experienced and knowledgeable team of negotiators who understand the process inside and out.
• For the first time ever, our contract expirations with these employers are closely aligned, which maximizes our ability to coordinate actions to press for satisfactory settlements.
• We will be proposing “win-win” solutions where our Union and the employers can work together to control health care costs while improving care.
• Most importantly, we have a strong membership with a history of loyalty to their Union and its principles.
This final factor cannot be overstated! Union solidarity has been the key to everything we have achieved so far and everything we will protect and strengthen in the future.
Throughout the process, the companies need to understand we are absolutely united in support of our Union as we pursue a fair and equitable contract.
This is not the time for dissent, rumors or negative talk — any of these things would encourage the employers to test our resolve with unreasonable demands.
A Cure for Stress: Smell the Coffee
There’s a reason we see so many coffee joints around — Starbucks, Peet’s, Dutch Bros. and so on. Many of our members work at such places inside our Union stores.
Our Members Do Good in the World
As Union members, we are fortunate to enjoy the highest standards in wages, benefits and job security in the industries we serve.
We are proud of our achievements — after all, we’ve worked hard over generations to win them and keep them — but we won’t be truly satisfied until we achieve a society where no one goes hungry, everyone has affordable health care, and every person gets an adequate and reliable income in retirement.
Stewards: Leaders in the Workplace
UFCW 8-Golden State is grateful to our Stewards for serving as the leaders of our great Union at the workplace. They are a special group of members who serve their Union and their co-workers in many ways.
Looking Forward to a Year of Unity
As we arrive at the closing months of 2016, many of us are concerned about possible changes in policy coming from Washington, D.C.
Time will tell if the new administration will address such issues as income inequality, tax structure, infrastructure improvements, trade policies and labor rights in ways which will contribute in positive ways.
Report Details Abuse of Non-Union Poultry Workers
Workers at non-Union poultry plants are abused regularly and are denied breaks to use the bathroom, according to a report recently released by a major charity organization.
Stand Up and Speak Out for Working People
The tragedy in Flint, Mich., where people are suffering the consequences of their state’s abandonment of working people’s concerns, reminds us of the serious stakes in this year’s political campaigns across America.
Thankful for Our Successes, Looking to the Future
As we enter the new year, many of our Retail Food and Drug members are covered by outstanding new agreements with Safeway/Vons, Bel Air, Lucky, Nob Hill, Raley’s, Rite Aid, Save Mart and S-Mart, among others.
Shop Union for the Holidays and All Year Long
Shopping Union is one of the most important principles of the Labor Movement.
Who are we helping when we do our holiday shopping at Union stores? We are helping ourselves.
Student Debt Crisis: It’s Time for a ‘Bailout’
If we needed an example of America’s misplaced priorities, we can look back at our government’s $700 billion bailout of the same financial institutions whose reckless and often illegal practices drove the country into the great recession.
Building an Economy for All of Us
America’s economy is strong again. At least this is what the economists are telling us. All those jobs we lost in the Great Recession have returned, they say. Some people are making a lot of money.
Coping With Stress in the New Year
The holidays are finally behind us. Many of us are using this time to take a deep breath before diving into the projects and commitments we’ve already charted for the New Year.
For others, however, this can be a season of uncertainty and stress.
Dispelling the Myths of Inequality
The gap between the richest Americans and everyone else is growing at an alarming pace.
Income inequality is now at its worst since the late 19th century, when the “robber barons” amassed incredible wealth and used it to dominate public policy.
Stewards Are Leaders at the Workplace
UFCW 8-Golden State is grateful to our Stewards for serving as the leaders of our great Union at the workplace.
They are a special group of members who serve their Union and their co-workers in many ways.
Negotiations: Be Prepared for Anything
As we reported in the previous issue of Voice of Action, our Union is engaged in negotiations for our supermarket members employed by Albertsons and Vons in Southern California.
It’s time to raise the Minimum Wage
As the economy begins regaining momentum after years of sluggish gains, many Americans are asking tough questions about who is reaping the benefits.
Campaign Spreads Message:
'We Are Part of the 99%'
From Los Angeles to New York City and from Seattle to Miami, the “Occupy” protests have captured the imaginations of working people who are frustrated and angry about our country’s economic priorities.
In his report on page 3, President Jacques Loveall describes some of the factors that are expected to make our contract negotiations with the supermarket companies especially difficult this year.
On pages 12 and 13 of this holiday issue of Voice of Action, you will find a list of Unionmade food products. Please use this list when you buy your groceries for the holidays and throughout the year.
No Chance to Get Rusty
Many years ago, in my earliest days as a Union negotiator, our jobs more or less followed the cycle of a single collective bargaining agreement.
MedExpert Adds Value
to Health Benefits
MedExpert is a Union negotiated benefit that provides quick answers to your health questions and explains your treatment options. It is available free of charge to all members of Local 8, as well as their spouses, children and parents.
SECRETARY TREASURER’S REPORT
Kirk Vogt named Secretary-Treasurer of
UFCW 8, succeeding retiring Michael Tursky
Kirk Vogt, Senior Executive Vice President of UFCW 8-Golden State, succeeds Michael Tursky as Secretary-Treasurer.
a happier 2010
The holiday season is stressful for everyone. For retail workers, the traditional responsibilities of shopping, cooking and planning are sandwiched between the huge crowds they deal with on the job during the busiest time of the year.
Fighting Back Against
Fresh & Easy’s Invasion
Tesco, the British parent company of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets, recently announced that its American division would lose about $259 million this year, or about $2 million for each of its 130 American stores.
Union Rights Deserve
Strong Legal Protection
Anyone who has worked for a living understands that employers have more power than employees. That’s why employees form Unions.