Stop & Shop, King Kullen Workers Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contracts
Over 8,500 Union Grocery Workers Secure a New 37 Month Pact, Increasing Wages While Maintaining All Pension and Health Benefits
WESTBURY, NY (04/17/2015)(readMedia)-- New York State's largest grocery workers union, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1500, announced they have ratified new agreements with both Stop & Shop and King Kullen supermarkets. The new contracts were voted on and ratified on Thursday, April 16th, and cover over 8,500 grocery workers across New York.
"Both negotiating committees did an excellent job. The agreements provide wage increases for all our members, full-time and part-time," said union President, Bruce Both. "We fought hard for months to protect our medical and pension plans, which will remain unchanged. We battled to secure benefits for all members, full and part-time," said negotiating committee member Paul Waldron, who works at King Kullen in Shirley.
The previous contracts expired on December 6, 2014. Since then each company has been on monthly renewing extensions with the union. The union announced the agreement also includes a no discrimination clause. The progressive clause protects all UFCW Local 1500 members from any discriminatory acts regarding race, gender, sex, or sexual preference. The contracts will also increase weekly and Sunday hours for more part-time workers, and added new premiums for certain union members. They also provide vision, legal, dental benefits for both full and part-time union members.
"I'm proud of our negotiating committee, it's our best agreement in years," said Andre Phillips, a Shop Steward at Stop & Shop in Brooklyn, "We were able to maintain our current pension and medical benefits, something the company fought hard throughout negotiations to take away from us. That's an important benefit to me, it lets me plan for my future." The contracts also increased contributions by King Kullen and Stop & Shop to the UFCW Local 1500 scholarship fund. The union annually awards over $27,000 of scholarships to UFCW Local 1500 members and their dependents. "With the new agreement we'll be able to increase the amount of scholarships we award to students. That's a benefit we're very proud to provide to our members," said President Both. Each contract is effective December 7, 2014 through December 30, 2017.
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, based out of Westbury, New York, represents over 22,800 grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Members of Local 1500 are employed by Pathmark, Fairway, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, D'Agostino, Key Food, Shop Rite and King Kullen.