States Largest Grocery Workers Union Seeks to Avoid Strike with Supermarkets;
Union Contracts Representing 16,000 Metro NY Workers Set to Expire June 26th.
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 President Bruce W. Both is the lead negotiator for 16,000 unionized grocery workers whose contracts are set to expire at midnight, June 26th, 2010 However, starting June 9th, the Union will begin a series of meetings with their membership to update them on the current status of negotiations and announce dates for possible strike authorization meetings. The 16,000 Union members employed by these companies work throughout Long Island, the five boroughs, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties.
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 is based out of Queens Village, NY and represents 23,000 grocery workers in the Metropolitan New York area. Contracts with additional employers such as Key Foods and Shop Rite, covering an additional 5,000 workers, will expire in September, 2010.
President Both stated "We believe that a win-win situation is within the reach of the parties involved in these negotiations and that un-necessary posturing will only lead to worker and consumer anxiety."
"The members of UFCW Local 1500 have always been united behind their Union," Both added. "The employers understand the strong solidarity between the Union and its members. This solidarity has helped us to avoid a major strike in this industry for the past 30 years. We have consistently reached fair agreements," Both pointed out. "However with the difficult economic times people have had over the last two years, we feel it would benefit the entire region to reach an early agreement," Both concluded.
The key issues during these negotiations are healthcare benefits, pension fund financing, wage increases and the utilization of part time workers.