We have recently finished another round of union negotiations with your employer on October 26, 27, 28.
We were scheduled for the full three days but when we were getting down to the completion we found we were just too far apart to come to an agreement on an offer. Your committee felt they could not bring this substandard position to you the members to vote on. It had been our hope that we had an offer we could recommend but this was not to be the case. We ended up breaking off negotiations and will be applying for a government appointed mediator to see if they can help get us closer together on an acceptable offer for you.
As we told you in our last update, negotiations have been somewhat frustrating as we are having a hard time getting your employer to agree to some of your proposals that you wanted to see changed. This has not changed much and has been increasingly more difficult now that we are into wages and benefits.
Your employer still refuses to deal with the issue of working alone by way of contract language that would help us to enforce this issue. On the other hand your committee requested and your employer reluctantly had a senior company executive come in and try to give us assurances on all avenues of employee safety including the problem of working alone. Along with that issue we still have other serious issues outstanding that we are trying to get movement on from your employer.
As you may know most of you received a wage increase as a result of the minimum wage going up. This has fractured the current wage scale between classifications and we have had a lot of concerns raised by you the members on this issue. Needless to say your employer to this point wants to continue to rely on minimum wage to provide increases, rather than negotiating a fair and living wage for you. This is currently our biggest stumbling block and hopefully they will withdraw from their position in mediation to rectify this.
We have further days for negotiations booked on November 12th, and 13th. Our plan is to use these days in November for the mediation process and then we should be able to come to you right afterwards in November with an offer to vote on.
Although we are still hopeful your employer will move on some of these outstanding issues. We want to caution you to be prepared to support your committee if we do end up coming to you with a request to turn down any offer that does not resolve the more serious issues that you the members have requested that your union try to resolve.
As we continue negotiations we will keep you informed and may request your assistance to help bolster our position. Please watch for further updates and check the UFCW 401 website often.
If you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact your Union Representative.
Your Negotiating Committee
Posted on: October 30,2015