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UFCW 8 ratifies contracts with Safeway, Vons, Save Mart, Stater Bros.

New labor pacts cover thousands of grocery workers across California

United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 8 has ratified new labor contracts with Safeway, Vons, Save Mart, FoodMaxx and Maxx Value in Northern, Central and Southern California.

UFCW 8 said late last week that members voted “overwhelmingly” to approve new three-year labor deals at the supermarket chains, describing the agreements as “landmark contracts.”

“Our members appreciate the value of their new contracts, which are a model of what can be accomplished through interest-based bargaining,” UFCW 8 President Jacques Loveall said in a statement.

Safeway and Vons are part of Albertsons Cos., and the Save Mart, FoodMaxx and Maxx Value stores are part of The Save Mart Cos.

Covering about 14,000 UFCW 8 members working at the five retail banners, the new contracts include “meaningful” wage increases and guarantee funding for “strong benefits,” including an additional retirement plan for all members, the union reported.

“These employers recognized the successes we’ve achieved in progressive health care plan design and our tireless work in reinventing health care delivery,” according to Loveall.

Roseville, Calif.-based UFCW 8 had reached tentative agreements with the Save Mart Cos. chains in September and with Safeway/Vons in Northern and Central California in July. Members voted Oct. 3 and 4 to ratify the contracts.

Also on Oct. 4, UFCW 8 members in Southern California ratified a new three-year pact with Stater Bros. Market after reaching a tentative deal several weeks earlier.

“The contract was overwhelmingly approved by members from all Southern California UFCW locals,” UFCW 8 said in a statement. “The contract provides significant wage increases, retroactive pay, wage progression improvements, advanced notice of scheduling, proper funding for health care benefits and retirement security.”

UFCW 8 said negotiations are continuing with Raley’s, including the West Sacramento, Calif.-based grocer’s Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source banners in Northern California.

Last month, UFCW 8 and six other UFCW locals in Southern California — 770, 324, 1167, 135, 1428 and 1442 — ratified new three-year contracts with Albertsons Cos. (for Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions store employees) and The Kroger Co. (for Ralphs Grocery Co. employees) after narrowly averting a strike. Over the summer, members had authorized union leaders to hold a strike if talks continued to make no progress, a scenario that would have impacted over 46,000 grocery workers and more than 500 stores.

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