WORKERS OK CONTRACT WITH N.J. CHAINS

CLIFTON, N.J. -- United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1262 here said retail clerks at five New Jersey chains have voted by margins of 88% or more to ratify new four-year agreements with their employers. hmark Stores, Woodbridge, N.J.; and ShopRite, the retail arm of Wakefern, Elizabeth, N.J.The contract, which expires in April 2001, spreads wage increases over the agreement's four years,

CLIFTON, N.J. -- United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1262 here said retail clerks at five New Jersey chains have voted by margins of 88% or more to ratify new four-year agreements with their employers.

hmark Stores, Woodbridge, N.J.; and ShopRite, the retail arm of Wakefern, Elizabeth, N.J.

The contract, which expires in April 2001, spreads wage increases over the agreement's four years, including boosts of $65 a week for full-time employees, who were earning $560 to $580 a week under the prior contract; $1 an hour for part-timers, who previously earned $7.50 to $9 an hour, and 60 cents an hour for service clerks, who were earning $6 to $7.50.

The agreement also increases the employers' contribution to the union's pension fund by $19 per full-time employee -- from $67 to $86 -- or approximately $8 million at the end of the four years. A management official had no comment on the settlement.