Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Morning One Liners: New England Stop & Shop Members OK Contract

New England Stop & Shop Negotiations:

Hartford Courant: Stop & Shop workers view economic climate, Vote Yes.

Brian Petronella, president of Local 371 in Connecticut, said the contract, which takes effect retroactively to Feb. 21 when the previous agreement expired, maintains a pension plan and keeps a health plan intact with full-time workers paying slightly more for health care.“Through the hard work of negotiators, we were able to reach an agreement that maintained our great health and pension benefits and provided general wage increases,’’ said Jim Carvalho, a spokesman for UFCW Local 1445, which represents 36,000 Stop & Shop employees in southern New England.

Supermarket News:
In a posting on the website of one of the locals, UFCW Local 1445, the union said 84% of the workers had voted in favor of the new contract.

Local reports said the new agreements call for full-time workers to "pay slightly more" for health insurance, which had been one of the sticking points of negotiations.
Employees will also receive a one-time payment up to $750, the reports said, in addition to scheduled raises during the next three years.

Shaw's workers reject final offer...
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 791 members overwhelmingly rejected the Shaw's final contract offer over the weekend.   The vote was 228 to 8. Picket lines began outside the Shaw's warehouse in Methuen Sunday. All perishable food – dairy, produce and meat - for Massachusetts and Rhode Island stores come from that warehouse.  
“The members were basically insulted, to say the least,’’ said Peter Derouen, a spokesman for United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 791, which represents 309 workers at the Methuen facility.
Shaw’s said it “worked hard’’ to try to avoid a strike and is developing a contingency plan to keep the strike from affecting shoppers, according to a statement to NECN-TV.  Local News picked up the story here.

New York
Progressive Grocer: New Duane Reade in Chelsea offers more Grocery,  Fresh Food selections:
Duane Reade’s new location in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City marks the debut of greatly expanded fresh food and grocery sections offering such items as fresh sandwiches, single-serve entrees, baked goods and freshly packed salads and vegetables. According to the New York-based drug store chain, the new features, which place it even more squarely in competition with nearby grocery and convenience stores, represent the latest phase of the company’s continuing “brand and customer experience transformation,” in fulfillment of its “brand mantra” of “New York Living Made Easy.”

The Daily News reports that the search is on for companies responsible for the pollution of the filthy Gowanus Canal - and it already has yielded some big names.

WNYC: Labor Union Blues
Union organizing drives might sound anachronistic these days -- many people who are working feel lucky to have a job. But unions are still trying to grow in New York City, even in areas where they have struggled to gain ground, such as government contractors. Matthew Schuerman has been following the story of a union-organizing drive at an E-ZPass center in Staten Island. Here’s his first installment.
Isaac Colinares,27, lives in a one-bedroom apartment in a worn-out neighborhood on Staten Island. It’s about a mile from his job, where he works answering phone calls and e-mails from E-ZPass customers. He started there two years ago....Read more by Matthew Schuerman

David Letterman is challenging the 2010 National Grocer Association's 'Best Bagger' on the Late Night Show.

Walmart exposed for 'Outdated and Sexist" hiring practices, Al Norman @ The Huffington Post.

U.S. Jobless Rate Steadies in February, sign of recovery?
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