Friday, February 27, 2015

Fairway Members Demand Company to Negotiate the Fair Way

UFCW Local 1500 members at Fairway are gearing up for their first labor negotiations under Fairway Market’s new CEO, Jack Murphy.

“We’ve had a long history of excellent labor relations with Fairway,” said Assistant to the President Rob Newell, “In the past, Fairway has always respected its workers during the negotiation process, and together we’ve raised the bar to create a contract seen by many as an industry standard,” Newell concluded.

Murphy took office in September of 2014 and has pledged new marketing campaigns, more 'robust growth' and vowed to ‘put the swagger back’ in Fairway's 15 stores.

At February’s Contract Proposal Meetings, Fairway members packed rooms in Long Island and Manhattan with one message, a fair contract. “It’s important for all Fairway members to stay extremely aware and active in these contract negotiations. We will set the tone for what future collective bargaining agreements look like for a growing company,” Newell explained, “We’re hopeful that we’ll reach another excellent agreement that will benefit both sides,” Newell explained, “We’re just making it known to management that our members working at Fairway are like no other members,” Newell concluded.

The 80-year-old company was founded by the Glickberg family, which was the largest shareholder until 2007, when Sterling Investment Partners took a controlling stake. The private-equity firm made a $150 million investment. Howard Glickberg, a grandson of the founder, is vice chairman of development.

UFCW Local 1500 members have been wearing buttons telling the company to negotiate their contract "the right way...the Fair Way".  "Members have been loving the buttons and eager to show their strength and solidarity," said NYC Fairway Union Representative Teresa Aponte, who has been distributing the buttons this week.  "It's important to show the company we want a fair contract, and Fairway members want it done the fair way."

Murphy has big plans for Fairway, he believes over the next three to five years Fairway can open 15 to 20 stores in the New York tri-state area, including more suburban locations.  With roots in Boston, he told Supermarket News, "before we even think about other parts of the country, the greater Boston area could offer growth opportunities at some point."

The agreement between UFCW Local 1500 and Fairway Market covering over 2,400 men and women expires on March 29, 2015.  Stay updated on negotiations, actions and events by signing up here.

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