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Secretary-Treasurer's Report

Get Ready for Supermarket Negotiations

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.

Together, we will continue to show the world …

Solidarity Works!