The union described bargaining as “difficult and protracted,” largely due to complications and additional costs imposed by the Affordable Care Act. The deal continues employer-provided health care coverage for all current employees and most future employees.
“This is one of the best retail food contracts in the country,” Local 400 president Mark P. Federici said in a statement. “Unlike many other agreements, our members will keep their current health care benefits and won’t be forced onto the inferior plans offered through the ACA’s health care exchanges. Giant and Safeway will pay all benefits in full through the life of the contract, and our members’ pensions will be properly funded.”
The collective bargaining agreement covers 17,000 workers in the greater Washington, D.C., area and takes effect retroactively as of Nov. 1. The previous contract had been extended twice.
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