Union Solidarity Alliance in Raley's Negotiations Expands
The Solidarity Alliance of Unions has grown in size and scope as negotiations continue for a successor agreement with the Raley's grocery chain and its Bel Air and Nob Hill subsidiaries.
UFCW 8-Golden State and UFCW Local 5 are now joined in the Alliance by UFCW Local 711; Northern California Teamsters; Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 85; and IUOE Stationary Engineers Local 39.
UFCW 8 and UFCW Local 5 have been negotiating with Raley's for more than a year, seeking agreement on a new contract for the company's grocery workers in Northern and Central California.
UFCW 8-Golden State President Jacques Loveall cited the Unions' inability to meet with management to clarify the vagaries in Raley's latest offer, despite several requests by the Solidarity Alliance to schedule a meeting.
He said the current offer, which has changed several times since it was issued two weeks ago, is inadequate and inferior to a prior offer from Raley's that was rejected by Union members.
Among other things, Raley's latest offer includes:
- elimination of retiree healthcare;
- inadequate funding of healthcare for active workers;
- permanent elimination of some wage premiums for working at night and on Sundays and holidays;
- establishment of two distinct classes of workers — those hired after the next contract is ratified and those hired before.
“We are increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress in negotiations due to the nature of the individual who is calling the shots for Raley's collective bargaining,” Loveall said.
“This individual's lack of good faith, his inconsistencies and his erratic approach have derailed the entire process,” Loveall continued.
“The company has attempted to circumvent Union collective bargaining representatives and engage in regressive bargaining,” he said.
“By allowing this outsider, whose priority is ‘union avoidance,' to direct its bargaining efforts, Raley's has forced us to expand our coalition,” Loveall said.
“We have informed Raley's of our intention to share information, develop creative solutions, and seek good-faith agreements with the Raley's Family of Fine Stores,” said leaders of each of the affected Unions.
“We are pleased the company is being cooperative in allowing the examination of its financial records. Additional negotiations are now set for Friday and we are hopeful meaningful and productive discussions will lead to a successful conclusion,” Loveall said.