About 25,000 Arizona Fry’s and Safeway grocery employees have voted to just accept a brand new three-year contract that gives for wage will increase and well being protection at no extra value.
The vote formally ended prospects of a normal grocery strike in Arizona. Staff have been getting ready to strike final month over a proposal to cost weekly premiums for well being insurance. However with a Nov. 13 strike deadline simply 12 hours away, the businesses withdrew the proposal.
Jim McLaughlin, president of Meals and Industrial Staff Union Native 99, stated the contract, authorized by members late Thursday, represents a big enchancment over the employers’ earlier provide.
The preliminary proposal would have charged workers weekly health-insurance premiums from $5 to $15, relying on the protection, and was rejected by the employees in September.
Though modest by some requirements, the union argued it might be a burden for a lot of employees who earn between $7.25 and $12 per hour on common.
Whereas the union received concessions from the businesses on well being care, it gave up floor on wages. The union initially requested for a 35-cents-per-hour improve retroactive to Oct. 26, 2008, and two 40-cent raises efficient Nov. 1, 2010, and Nov. 1, 2011.
The brand new contract consists of 25-cent-per-hour will increase on Oct. 24, 2010, and Oct. 23, 2011, and a ratification bonus within the type of $150 to $500 present playing cards relying on size of service. It additionally offers for increased firm contributions to health-care and retirement funds and no health-care premiums.
“We’re glad the businesses have been capable of come to phrases with us, and we look ahead to working with them over the subsequent three years in a spirit of belief and mutual help,” McLaughlin stated in a press release.
Safeway spokeswoman Cathy Kloos stated the corporate was “extraordinarily happy” that the negotiations got here to a passable conclusion. Safeway has about 9,000 union members and Fry’s, about 16,000.
A month in the past, Safeway and Fry’s have been bracing for a strike and had lined up hundreds of short-term employees to fill in for placing workers and scores of safety guards to maintain the peace. It might have been the primary Arizona grocery strike in many years and will have value billions of in misplaced gross sales and wages.
Workers have been getting ready to hunker down by means of the vacations, subsisting on $100 per week in strike pay.
McLaughlin stated the “unshakeable energy and solidarity” of union members throughout a 13-month negotiating course of made the brand new contract doable.
The contract replaces a 2005 pact that expired final 12 months and was prolonged for 12 months whereas the events negotiated. The extension expired Oct. 2.