Thursday, October 8, 2020

STOP & SHOP ALERT



 
    COVID-19 may prevent us from holding in-person meetings but it will not derail our negotiations!  Check your email for a message from us regarding contract proposals.  Your company needs to hear from you!  Send us your proposals or ideas for what you would like to see changed or improved in your new contract.  Email us at mailto:MyContract@UFCW1500.org and make sure your voice is heard!  We will consolidate all of your proposals and then approach Stop & Shop with them.  Deadline to respond is Wednesday, October 21st!

Pick Quick Key Food Contract Update




    As the expiration date of the Pick Quick Legacy and Pick Quick Managers contracts continues to quickly approach us, the Company requested recently an extension. Late yesterday, the Union and the Company have agreed to extend these contracts until April 24th, 2021, with retroactivity back to November 7th, 2020. This new expiration date coincides with the expiration of the Pick Quick New Stores CBA, and also brings Pick Quick more in line with the expiration of other Key Foods and similar industry competitors. Stay tuned as we continue to negotiate with Pick Quick just after the start of the new year.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Download COVID Alert NY App

Today, New York is thrilled to launch COVID Alert NY – the official Exposure Notification App created by the New York State Department of Health in partnership with Google and Apple. Now you can use your phone in the fight against COVID-19 and get exposure alerts, without compromising your privacy or personal information.
 
                                                                             

Friday, September 25, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: HAZARD PAY STOP & SHOP EXTENSION

BREAKING NEWS

After pressing Stop & Shop for many weeks about the need for Hazard Pay to continue, an agreement has finally been reached. Stop & Shop has agreed to pay Hazard Pay retroactive from July 5th through August 22nd. All Local 1500 members will be paid 10% of their hourly rate for all hours worked, exclusive of any Paid Time Off, during that time frame.  Stop & Shop will do the calculations and pay date for the retro will be November 12th for members still active on that date.  Thanks to all of the UFCW Local Unions involved and especially our President Rob Newell for his involvement in these difficult negotiations. And of course, thank you to all Local 1500 members for your hard work and dedication! This would not be possible without your strength and unity!

To our members that are not employed by Stop & Shop: We are actively working to achieve additional Hazard Pay for you as well. Please stay tuned and stay strong!




Thursday, September 24, 2020

Union Pride Gaiters


Check out the new Union Pride Gaiters. These will be coming to your stores soon! #UFCW1500 #MyUnionHasValue #1500Gaiters #UnionPride



Monday, September 14, 2020

The Register Fall 2020 Edition

Union preserves thousands of jobs. Click to read the Fall 2020 edition of UFCW Local 1500's "The Register".




Friday, September 11, 2020

#NYUnionMade

This past Labor Day, UFCW Local 1500 paid respect to members by having a moment of silence! Here are some photos commemorating the event #LaborWeek2020 #NYUnionMade #UFCW1500 #1U #UnionProud #UnionStrong







What The Union Means to Me (Part 2)

 

 Happy Labor Week, here we have a few of our union brothers and sisters tell us why the union is important to them. #LaborDay #LaborWeek2020 #UFCWLocal1500 #MyUnionHasValue 


 


#LaborWeek2020

 

This past Labor Day, UFCW Local 1500 paid respect to members by having a moment of silence! Here is a video recapping the event #LaborWeek2020 #NYUnionMade #UFCW1500 #1U #UnionProud #UnionStrong


 


September 11th

Our deepest condolences to all the families devastated by the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. We will not forget the brave American men, women, and children who lost their lives that day. We stand together with all people across this nation during this time of mourning. We will always remember! #1U #UFCW1500 #NeverForget #September11

 


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Fall 2020 General Membership Meeting

 

***ATTENTION***


Due to the ongoing health crisis, the General Membership Meeting will be held SOLELY VIA Facebook Live. We will NOT have an in-person meeting this month. Please join us on Facebook Live at 7:00 p.m tomorrow September 9th, to attend this meeting. Stay safe and healthy

What The Union Means To Me

 

Happy Labor Day, a few of our union brothers and sisters tell us Why the union is important to them. #LaborDay #LaborWeek2020 #UFCWLocal1500 #MyUnionHasValue

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Complete your 2020 Census Today

 IT’S NOT TOO LATE! Make sure you complete your 2020 Census today! It’s easy and only takes a few moments to complete. Take The Pledge, Get Counted and Empower Workers! All you need to do is go to laborcounts2020.org or 2020census.gov 

HAZARD WORK = HAZARD PAY

Hazard Work = Hazard Pay; In the worst pandemic in a century, America’s frontline workers shouldn’t work for less. Stand with customers around the country to support hazard pay for essential workers. Click here to take action: https://p2a.co/MdyOIzm


Thursday, August 27, 2020

Local 1500 Back To School Giveaway


It’s back! Local 1500’s back to school giveaway is officially underway. Qualified participants will get backpacks, notebooks, notepads, pens, pencils, and more! To apply send us an email @backtoschoolgiveaway@ufcw1500.org. The deadline for applicants is September 14th, so apply now while there is still time! #MyUnionHasValue #BacktoSchool #BacktoSchoolGiveaway1500 #UFCW1500 #1u

 

Friday, August 21, 2020

PPE Stocked






We’re locked and loaded for your PPE needs. If you are in need of PPE send us a direct message.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Fairway execs take bankruptcy bonuses while essential workers struggle

 

 

 Robert W. Newell Jr. UFCW Local 1500 president at Fairway Westbury property.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

$33K HOW MUCH one deli worker made per year working for the Fairway in Harlem

$325K HOW MUCH Fairway's CEO received as a bonus for managing Fairway through bankruptcy

For the past three years, Jamaine Thomas has commuted by train and bus one hour each way from his apartment in the Bronx to his job at the Fairway Market in Harlem. Even through New York's darkest days of the Covid-19 pandemic, Thomas sliced provolone and Boar's Head meats behind the deli counter and made pizzas, salads and sandwiches for the cafĂ©—all for $16 per hour. That's about $33,000 per year, plus benefits.

But that changed on July 18, when Thomas arrived at work to learn he had lost his job. The supermarket, which served as a mecca for foodies for 25 years, was closing that day. In January the store's owner had filed for bankruptcy, 13 years after being acquired by a private-equity firm, and it was time to make cuts.

While Thomas, a 40-year-old father of a teen and a tween, looks for work before his unemployment runs out, Abel Porter, the chief executive of Fairway Group Holdings is preparing to receive a $325,000 bonus as a reward for managing the bankrupt grocer. Of Fairway's 14 stores, two have closed, two more are slated to close and the rest have been sold. Mr. Porter declined to comment for this article. But Thomas had some choice words for his former employer.

"It comes off like a slap in the face," Thomas said when he heard about Porter's bonus. "We put ourselves in jeopardy during the worst of the pandemic. We were dealing with customers. The corporate people were not. You can't help but feel slighted."

Porter and other Fairway executives who led the company to its second bankruptcy in four years actually were awarded two rounds of bonuses. First they were granted $1.1 million two days before the company filed for Chapter 11 in January as an enticement to remain on the job. Three months later they asked the bankruptcy court for $1 million more in bonuses.

At an April hearing held remotely, Fairway's bankruptcy lawyer, Sunny Singh of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, said that the second round of bonuses was "very important" for enticing management to deliver the best possible outcomes.

"We think that this is justified—more than justified—under the circumstances," Singh said.

Union official Rob Newell listened to the hearing, and his blood started to boil.

As president of Local 1500 of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Newell had seen a parade of bankrupt grocers make the same arguments as Fairway's lawyer. To Fairway executives, their attorneys' and financial advisers' $2 million in bonuses might seem a small sum compared with the company's $66 million in losses last year and more than $200 million in liabilities. But filing for bankruptcy enabled Fairway to walk away from more than $60 million in pension obligations. Unionized grocery workers across the city will have to contribute more of their earnings to fill the gap.

Above all, Newell wondered, why did Fairway executives deserve bonuses when essential workers struggled to keep shelves stocked during the pandemic?

"It's disgusting in the eyes of any worker when a group of people charged with properly running a company fail and then get paid more to stay there," Newell said. "That's disgraceful."

He wasn't the only one upset with Fairway's bankruptcy bonuses. The U.S. Department of Justice also took notice. A trustee monitoring the bankruptcy case argued it was unfair for management to get rewarded when the rank and file didn't. Local 1500 estimates that 50 employees at Fairway stores got Covid-19, and one died.

"The cashiers and the deli managers are not getting bonuses," the Justice Department representative, Greg Zipes, told Judge James Garrity of U.S. Bankruptcy Court at the April hearing. Bonuses "should be applied to all the employees of Fairway."

Garrity agreed Zipes made a "very, very good point." He agreed that the work done by those at the cash registers and loading docks was "heroic" and that "all of the employees deserve merit and certain recognition." Then he approved the bankruptcy bonuses.

"Debtors have demonstrated ample cause," the judge said.

"It's the same thing every time," Newell said later. "It's expected that we will fight the bonuses and the judge will approve. There is no more unfriendly place to a worker than a bankruptcy court."

An epidemic of bonuses

It might seem strange to pay bonuses to executives who have led a company into bankruptcy. Despite efforts by Congress to crack down on the payments, they have been steadily doled out since well before Enron and WorldCom executives stuffed them in their pockets two decades ago. With scores of companies in serious financial distress because of the pandemic, today is the golden age of the bankruptcy bonus.

"There has been an epidemic of these bonuses, just an enormous uptick," said Jared Ellias, a professor at the University of California's Hastings College of Law. "There are reasons for paying them, but they strike a lot of people as wrong."

In the first half of this year, 50 bankrupt companies awarded bonuses to executives, according to bankruptcydata.com, a website from New Generation Research. That's 18 more than during the same period last year, 28 more than in 2018 and 38 more than 2017. Bankruptcydata.com says the portion of bankrupt companies paying bonuses has ranged between 25% and 37% in recent years.

"As the larger filings progress, this number may indeed grow to a higher percentage than the previous few years," said Ben Schlafman, New Generation's chief operating officer.

Large as the numbers are, they actually understate how often bankruptcy bonuses get shelled out. That's because companies increasingly are awarding them just before filing for Chapter 11, because those gifts don't require court approval. Hertz and JC Penney are among the companies that recently paid out bonuses just before bankruptcy. Fairway awarded bonuses both before and after.

Companies say the payments prevent executives from abandoning ship.

"The theory is you don't want a brain drain," said Nancy Rapoport, a professor at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas' Boyd School of Law. "Even though they may have made bad decisions, people who know the business are more likely to help the business."

Rapoport added that bankruptcy bonuses can amount to last-minute cash grabs, especially when desperate companies are unable to come up with a viable plan to get out of Chapter 11 because of the pandemic, e-commerce or plain-old mismanagement.

"If a company has no clear way forward but wants to spend money retaining people, you have to ask why," she said.

Some fans of bankruptcy bonuses argue that restructuring under the auspices of a bankruptcy court is grueling, so executives need to be rewarded for their time. That's the case Neiman Marcus made when it received approval for $10 million in bankruptcy bonuses for its CEO, finance chief, president, the head of subsidiary store Bergdorf Goodman and a handful of others.

"In recent months, the [bonus plan] participants have seen a substantial increase in their workloads," the retailer said in court papers in June, "without any concomitant increase in their compensation."

Neiman Marcus furloughed nearly 14,000 employees in March. The retailer declined to comment on the bonuses.

Judges commonly accept the argument that the payouts will help focus management on maximizing the struggling company's value, which is the ultimate goal of Chapter 11. Bankruptcy judges typically are drawn from the ranks of bankruptcy lawyers, including Garrity, who used to co-chair the restructuring group at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. On sensitive matters concerning executive pay, legal advisers invariably defer to another set of advisers: compensation consultants.

"Bankruptcy judges don't have the ability to micromanage compensation decisions," said Robert Gerber, who teaches at Columbia Law School and as a judge oversaw the General Motors bankruptcy. "If the recommendation is reasonable under the circumstances it'd be rare for a judge to disapprove it."

Pushback

Gerber said bankruptcy bonuses were common when he started working as a lawyer 30 years ago. After the stink caused by Enron-era executives collecting bonus payouts while their enterprises collapsed, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in 2005. The law aimed to rein in "retention bonuses" ladled out to executives at bankrupt companies simply for staying on the job.

In response, ailing companies began awarding retention bonuses before they filed for bankruptcy and began describing bonuses awarded during Chapter 11 proceedings as "incentive bonuses." Incentive bonuses are contingent on hitting performance targets. But experts say the targets are often easy to hit.

For instance, a key condition for Fairway executives to collect their $1 million in incentive bonuses was to sell the flagship Upper West Side store and certain others. But the Justice Department trustee observed that wasn't a difficult target because management struck a sale agreement before filing for bankruptcy.

Other criteria were clear as mud. "It is impossible to determine what, if anything, Incentive Plan participants must achieve in order to obtain a bonus," the trustee wrote.

Fairway responded to the trustee's critique by amending its bonus package and adding information, such as identifying the nine recipients by job title. It disclosed that CEO Porter was eligible to collect 34.7% of the incentive bonus pool, or up to $325,000, on top of what another court document said was approximately $104,000 under Fairway's pre-bankruptcy $1.1 million retention-bonus package.

Surveying the wreckage

With the 2005 law meant to clamp down on bankruptcy bonuses essentially a dead letter, it's time for Congress to revisit the issue, said Karen Cordry, bankruptcy counsel at the National Association of Attorneys General.

"It's been 15 years since the last bankruptcy legislation," Cordry said. "We've never gone that long before without reform."

A spokesman for Sen. Charles Grassley, sponsor of the 2005 law, said, "We will look into it."

Rafael Mauleon, store representative for Local 1500, is now trying to find jobs for the Harlem workers at other stores. He said he realizes there won't be enough for everyone.

"People were happy to be there, and it showed," Mauleon said about the Harlem store. "No one thought the store would close. It was a good place. Good customers and good workers."

But Thomas said that although he and his workers knew the store was doomed, they didn't know when it would shut down until they were told on the last day.

"We don't want much," he said. "Just a little job security and maybe some advance notice." 

Suzannah Cavanaugh contributed to this article.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Stop Target

Don’t let Target gentrify Astoria and kick out our unionized supermarket – let’s keep good jobs in our neighborhood and tell our politicians to #StopTarget! 

Sign On To The Petition Below
https://stoptarget.nyc/
https://stoptarget.nyc/


Thursday, July 16, 2020

Congratulations Aly Waddy

Please join us in congratulating UFCW Local 1500’s Secretary-Treasurer Aly Waddy on her appointment to the UFCW United Latinos Executive Board!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Stop & Shop Hazard Pay Extension with Andrew Gounardes




STOP & SHOP YOUR ACTIONS ARE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR EMPLOYEES HEALTH AND SAFETY! Today UFCW Local 1500, along with Senator Andrew Gounardes handed out leaflets to customers explaining Stop & Shop’s decision to end Hazard Pay for their workers. Afterward they went into Stop & Shop to hear union members’ concerns and problems with Stop & Shop’s decision to end hazard pay...and not enforce social distancing rules while they continue to work during this pandemic.






Friday, July 3, 2020

EXTEND HAZARD PAY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZISWQL7hBzs 

Hey Stop & Shop: Do the right thing and EXTEND HAZARD PAY for your ESSENTIAL workers!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

UFCW Local 1500 Scholarship

http://www.ufcw1500.org/applyonline

Each year UFCW Local 1500 awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to active members and their dependents. Do not miss out! Begin the process and request an application now. You can apply here at http://www.ufcw1500.org/applyonline. If you have any questions please call the scholarship department at 516-214-1310 for more information. 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Congratulations Joseph Waddy


We would like to congratulate UFCW Local 1500’s E.V.P./Recorder Joe Waddy on being appointed to the UFCW Minority Coalition Executive Board.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Attention all ShopRite Members! Contract Update

Attention all ShopRite Members!

2020 has proven to be extremely challenging to bargain contracts in the traditional manner. To this concern, Local 1500 has signed contract extensions with Glass Gardens, Mannix, and SRS ShopRite companies, which will extend our current Collective Bargaining Agreements by one year, respectively.

We were also able to secure a wage increase for everyone during this extension, and all members will maintain their current level of retirement and medical coverage for the duration of the extension. Please see below for further details.

 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Rhonda Nelson Retirement

Congratulations Rhonda on your retirement. We all hope you enjoy the next chapter of your life! Join us in remembering Rhonda as we celebrate her retirement.












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