Union workers at Shoppers Food & Pharmacy have voted to ratify a new three-year contract, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 said Tuesday.
The new deal increases wages and maintains health and retirement security, the union said.
The contract culminates “a difficult round of bargaining that required multiple extensions of the old agreement to resolve complex issues, many of which revolved around increased costs imposed by the Affordable Care Act," the union said.
"The workers’ success was due to a sustained campaign that mobilized support from Shoppers customers and the community, with members of the bargaining advisory committee visiting every store in the area,” Local 400 president Mark P. Federici said. "Because our Shoppers members stayed strong throughout this challenging process, they won a collective bargaining agreement that improves their standard of living and keeps their comprehensive health and pension benefits.
“This is a solid contract that compares well to others in the industry, and it’s testimony to the power of member activism. It also gives our members one more thing to be thankful for two days from now.”
Key provisions of the contract include:
• Guaranteed wage increases of up to 90 cents/hour over three years, with all of the agreement’s financial benefits coming in the form of permanent raises rather than one-time bonuses.
• Increased employer contributions to fully fund pension benefits.
• Health care maintenance of benefits, which ensures that Shoppers will contribute whatever is necessary to the health care fund to pay all benefits.
• Spouses will continue to be covered under the health benefit plan.
• Overtime will continue to be paid for work exceeding eight hours in any day.
• Sunday will continue to be treated as separate from the basic work week.
“Our task now is to move forward from here,” Federici said. “We will remain vigilant to ensure that the contract is fully enforced and we will work together with Shoppers to expand the company’s share of the market in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.” The collective bargaining agreement, which affects 2,500 workers in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, takes effect retroactively as of July 13, 2014, and it expires on July 8, 2017.
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