GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 951 voted last week to ratify new Meijer contracts containing wage increases, benefit improvements and flexible contract language.
"Last year, we surveyed the membership regarding their goals for these negotiations. The contracts we negotiated achieved their goals and were unanimously recommended by the members on the bargaining committees and soundly ratified by the membership," John Cakmakci, UFCW 951 president and chief union negotiator for the talks, said. "Not only are all members receiving wage increases, but the length of time it takes them to get to top rate was reduced as we worked to close the gaps in the wage scales. The contract will improve health benefits while reducing the employee contribution for part-time workers."
There are three separate contracts; retail, distribution center/transportation and retail facilities maintenance covering over 27,000 workers. They are four-year agreements effective 8/21/16 with immediate wage increases. Starting rates were increased significantly, and the top wage rates increased in all contracts. Other contract improvements include:
Elimination of the 20-hour per week average to receive paid time off.
More paid time off for workers hired after 10/23/05.
Increases in the company's match to employees' 401(k) plans.
Quicker qualification for paid holidays for workers hired on or after 9/14/03.
Greater opportunity to obtain a full-time position and promotions.
Improved scheduling language that strengthens both full-time and part-time seniority.
"We made good progress in these negotiations, but there is still work to do," Cakmakci said. "I look forward to continuing to work with the company to improve the lives of the UFCW 951 members working at Meijer."
UFCW 951 represents approximately 32,000 workers across Michigan employed at a variety of companies including Meijer, Kroger, Rite Aid, JBS, Polly's, Plumb's, Harding's, Valley City Linen and Orchard Grove Nursing Home.
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SOURCE UFCW 951