Wednesday, November 30, 2011

13 UFCW/RWDSU Locals Ratify New A&P Agreement

13 UFCW/RWDSU Local Unions Overwhelmingly Ratify New A&P/Pathmark Agreement

UFCW Local 1500 President Bruce W. Both announced that the thirteen UFCW/RWDSU Locals participating in the A&P/Pathmark contract modification negotiations have ratified the new collective bargaining agreement. The following are the total votes cast:

7200 Voted 'Yes' to Accept the Contract Modifications

1827 Voted 'No' to Reject the Contract Modifications

“We know the past year was an extremely difficult time for UFCW Local 1500 members employed by Pathmark.  All of us at the Union are very grateful for the support and patience shown by the Pathmark workers.  While we all recognize the changes to the Pathmark contract are substantial, we are pleased that we were able to conclude this process with our Health Insurance and Pension programs unchanged.   Additionally, several provisions of the new agreement will expire during the life of the contract and will not have to be negotiated back in 2016.   Also, management proposals to gut the job protection language in your contracts were completely defeated," President Both stated.

“While I acknowledge that we now must move forward, we must also remain vigilant and united every day. We expect that early next year A&P/Pathmark will emerge from bankruptcy.  The new management team at A&P/Pathmark must listen to the voices of the workers if they are to have any chance to once again be a growing and successful supermarket.  However, as we have said in the past, Local 1500 will remain cautious and will be ready to protect our Union members jobs should A&P/Pathmark management take any actions we believe to be counter-productive to its success and harmful to our membership.”

“The key to our future is solidarity and unity.  Without that, I have no doubt that thousands of Pathmark workers today would be seeking new jobs during a horrible economy rather than going to their stores knowing their working conditions far exceed those of non-union companies like Walmart, BJ's and Target.  By remaining unified we can work to undo the difficult, but necessary, changes to this contract when we negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement in 2016.  Again, on behalf of the entire staff and leadership of UFCW Local 1500, I thank you for your for patience, support, and most importantly, your solidarity."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday's One-Liners: Black Friday Recaps & NLRB Under Attack

The NLRB is split on the new rule change, (which would cut the useless waiting periods companies have used for to push their anti-union propaganda and simplify the union election process) and last week the lone Republican serving on the National Labor Relations Board threatened to resign if the new change goes into effect.

On November 30 the AFL-CIO will hold a special forum in DC to analyze the attacks on the NLRB and workers' rights.

On Black Friday, which always brings the best out in people, 2 shoppers were hurt, 1 arrested at a Walmart upstate NY where several fights broke out.  In LA, a shopper pepper sprayed fellow customers as the doors opened at a Walmart.  Fox did a nice round up of all the violence from across the country on Black Friday.

Walmart's Black Friday: Shootings, Pepper Spray & a Blackout.

An exhausted Target worker fell asleep after working long hours on Black Friday and crashed into a canal.

In Saranac NY, residents kept a Super Walmart out, then opened their own Community store to keep the local businesses alive!

A&P union workers across the east cost are voting on a modified contract to help the company emerge from bankruptcy.

Supermarket News looks at Ahold's new growth strategies.

Stop & Shop is set to unveil a new concept store in Massachusetts.

To the surprise of local residents, St. James King Kullen expansion was approved by the Smithtown town board.  More @ Newsday.

Walmart is finding ways to win big in California new initiatives.

AlterNet asks, is Walmart Chairman Rob Walton the worst of the top 1%?

An attorney has questioned the legality of a bill that would require Walmart and other national big box stores to meet with community groups to discuss wages, employee treatment and working conditions before opening.

UFCW Canada is calling all activists to help: Stop the Blacklisting of Migrant Workers!

More: Three Mexican farm workers who claim they were arbitrarily booted from Canada are suing the federal government and an Ontario company in a case that raises questions about the vulnerability of migrant labor.

In the first 12 days, 300,000 petitions have been signed to recall Governor Walker.

On December 1 (Thursday) we're marching with the New York City Central Labor Council at 4 PM from Herald Square to Union Square (NYC) for Economic Fairness and Jobs.  NO rally and NO Speeches! Just marching! For more info head here. If you'd like to join us, send us an email!
There are 14 million unemployed in America, while the richest 1% has tripled its wealth over the past 30 years. Everyday, we see hard-working families struggling to get by.  The labor movement will never be satisfied when so many working-class people find themselves shut out of the American dream. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

UFCW President Joe Hansen: Stand With Workers This Thanksgiving

United Food and Commercial Workers

UFCW International President Joe Hansen has written an excellent editorial on respecting retail workers featured in the Huffington Post.

Stand With Workers This Thanksgiving
By Joe Hansen 

International President, United Food and Commercial Workers

When one retail worker speaks out and takes public action against unfair scheduling practices, it's a media story. When his coworkers stand with him and speak with one voice, they've got a union, and that's the best way to make real change.

Anthony Hardwick, a retail worker at a North Omaha Target store, has drawn headlines by petitioning his employer to return to traditional opening hours on Black Friday instead of pushing up the opening to Thanksgiving Day. Across the country, thousands of retail workers at stores like Target and Walmart are facing a Black Friday work schedule that leaves them with no time to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner with their families.

Scheduling issues are consistently a top concern for retail workers. Many workers want more hours and a consistent, full-time schedule they can count on to support their families. But there's a double-edged sword for workers who put in long hours and forego family time over the holiday weekend: instead of seeing a reward for their hard work and loyalty in their paychecks, many will see their hours cut back in the days following the holiday so retailers can avoid paying overtime.

Even though their on-the-job conditions are often overlooked, retail workers are the backbone of our service economy. Millions of Americans work these jobs, and retail is one of the only sectors of our economy that is growing. Retail jobs are going to define how it is to live and work in America the way that manufacturing jobs once did. It is vital that retail jobs are secure, full-time jobs that pay the bills and allow people to live a middle class life.

That's why it matters for all of us when Anthony Hardwick has no voice to make holiday scheduling work for his family or demand fair compensation for working on a holiday. Americans know the way Anthony and his co-workers are being treated is unfair and wrong; over 175,000 people have signed a petition in support of Anthony. But for real change, Anthony's concerns over scheduling and holiday pay need to be heard by his managers. The best way that retail workers can have a say over holiday scheduling is by sticking together in a union and negotiating for those changes directly from their employer.

The UFCW and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Council of the UFCW represent workers at grocery stores, but also at stores like Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Modell's and H&M. Union retail workers earn premium pay for work on holidays. Their union contract guides fair scheduling. In these stores, many workers choose to take holiday shifts that might pay time-and-a-half or double-time union wages; as opposed to workers at stores like Target or Walmart who often work holiday shifts out of fear of losing their jobs and may not earn premium pay for these grueling shifts.

We all make compromises with our time over the busy holiday season. Sometimes it is traveling to see the in-laws. Other times it is working long hours over Thanksgiving weekend so that we can provide a magical Christmas morning for our children. When retail workers are given a voice in holiday scheduling, they can respect the needs of their families; whether that need is a loved one's presence at home or the need to earn additional income over the holidays.

Respect for the retail workers who are the heart of events like Black Friday means fair compensation for holiday hours and a voice in scheduling. When we support workers coming together to make positive changes in the workplace, we all win.

Click here to sign the petition to stand with Walmart employees and other retail workers who are sticking together to have a say over their schedules during the holidays.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pathmark Contract Modification Voting Time & Sites

Dear Pathmark Member:

A Secret Ballot Vote will be conducted on Monday, November 28, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. regarding approval of proposed modifications to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between UFCW Local 1500 and Pathmark for the term June 27, 2010 to September 28, 2013.

Individual vote totals from each Local Union will be combined and counted in aggregate.


LaBetti Post, VFW                                                      International JFK Airport Hotel
390 Hylan Blvd.                                                         144-02 135th Avenue
Staten Island, New York                                          Jamaica, New York            

Project Hope                                                             Crowne Plaza Long Island
2050 Bartow Avenue                                               1730 North Ocean Avenue
Bronx, New York                                                        Holtsville, New York

UFCW Local 1500 – Union Hall
425 Merrick Avenue
Westbury, New York

Pursuant to Article 23(D)7 of the UFCW International Constitution, Local Nos. 27, 100R, 152, 338, 342, 371, 464A, 1034, 1245, 1262, 1360, 1500, and 1776 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (“Local Unions”) have agreed that the results of the vote to accept or reject the final offer by The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, Inc., and its affiliated debtors and debtors-in-possession (collectively, “the Company”) for modifications to existing collective bargaining agreements or terms for new collective bargaining agreements between the Local Unions and the Company will be determined by aggregating the votes of all the affected members of all the Local Unions.

ANTHONY G. SPEELMAN                                         BRUCE W. BOTH

Secretary-Treasurer                                                  President

 Print out the voting schedule by clicking the picture below and post in your store:


Nov. 17th: Update from UFCW Local 1500 on A&P (Pathmark) Bankruptcy

UFCW Local 1500 A&P/Pathmark Update, Thursday November 17, 2011

The following is an update from UFCW Local 1500 regarding the A&P/Pathmark bankruptcy proceedings.  This update includes all actions that have occurred since our last update on Sunday November 13th, 2011:

UFCW Local 1500 recently conducted a conference call with our International Legal Department, our Regional Directors and all local unions holding Collective Bargaining Agreements with A&P/Pathmark and its other banners.

The purpose of the discussion was to set-up times and the methodology needed to implement ratification and the reporting of results regarding the modifications of our current Contracts.

The following was discussed and decided:

- The Bankruptcy Court has not yet received the final Term Sheets laying out changes to each Local's contract from several Local Unions. That is causing a legal delay in discussing the contract modifications with the Pathmark membership. Please understand that because the Bankruptcy Court has not yet placed its official seal on the negotiations, we have not been permitted to discuss details of the agreement.

- As far as the voting process is concerned, all UFCW/RWDSU Local Unions agreed that the ballots will be worded in line with appropriate terminology so as to reflect whether the situation is a contract modification or the enactment of new contract provisions.

- Ballot language will be provided by our International Legal Department. All Local Unions voted unanimously that the ballots cast by all Unions will be combined and counted in the aggregate.

- The specific process regarding the vote will be left to the individual Locals. Information regarding Local 1500's voting process is being released to the membership.

- Local 1500 must print ballots, create a document, identify changes in the Contract, establish a voting procedure and provide adequate notice to the members. All of that work is being done now.

All of this work will get done despite the added complication that next week marks Thanksgiving, which is an extremely busy period in stores. The timing is not conducive to stopping work and casting ballots next week..

Members should continue to stay focused, united and informed. We will give you all the facts as soon as the Bankruptcy Court permits us to do so.  Please do not believe the rumors you might hear and report them to your union delegate.   Follow our updates on the union website and under our Facebook page.

The International UFCW Blog: Stop Nespressure! Tell Nestlé to respect trade unions!

The UFCW Blog: Stop Nespressure! Tell Nestlé to respect trade union rights!...: Management pressure on workers and their unions continues at Nestlé, the world's largest food company. At the Nescafé factory in Panjang, Indonesia, union members have been dismissed following industrial action in response to a collective bargaining deadlock. The company has failed to show up for mediation and refused admittance to the occupied factory with a committee from the local parliament, preferring mass dismissals to good faith negotiations....Read more

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Update #21 from UFCW/RWDSU Locals 1500, 338 and 342 A&P Bankruptcy Negotating Team

Update on A&P/Pathmark Bankruptcy Negotiations from UFCW/RWDSU Locals 1500, 342 and 338

Sunday, November 13th

At the conclusion of four straight days of negotiations, UFCW and RWDSU Local Unions presented to A&P/Pathmark a proposal to bring before the Federal bankruptcy judge for consideration. Under the court ordered confidentiality agreement, details of the proposal cannot be released or discussed until the court process permits.

To be clear, no tentative agreement has been reached between the unions and A&P.  Any agreement on labor concessions must be voted on by the members.  This will only take place after the court process permits the unions to bring the proposal to the members.  The members will have sufficient time to review any proposal prior to voting.

The company is scheduled to appear before the Federal bankruptcy judge Monday morning, November 14th.

UFCW/RWDSU Locals 1500, 338 and 342 have stood together throughout and will remain united.

Your Union will continue to keep you updated. Members should continue to stay focused, united and informed. Please report any rumors to your union delegate. Follow our updates on the unions website and/or Facebook page. As we have said all along, we will continue to provide information to you in compliance with the confidentiality guidelines of the bankruptcy court.

Update #20 from UFCW/RWDSU Locals 1500, 342 & 338

Negotiations Continue Between Local Unions, A&P, and Yucaipa

Union Efforts Continue to Focus on Bargaining Best Deal Possible for Members Working in A&P, Pathmark, Waldbaum's, and Food Emporium

UFCW and RWDSU Local Unions are continuing to meet with A&P and Yucaipa in Newark, New Jersey in an attempt to bargain a new contract. To bargain a fair and equitable deal for the members,
Locals 342, 338, and 1500 have united together to be sure the members are spoken for with one voice.

As part of the effort to stay as united as possible, the leadership of the Local Unions are asking the members to stop expressing their opinions about the ongoing bankruptcy negotiations in front of managers and supervisors. Alleged conversations and opinions of the members are surfacing at the bargaining table, and the company is trying to use those positions to their advantage. Therefore, the Unions are asking that members please refrain from expressing all opinions on this matter in front of store management until a conclusion is reached.

UFCW Locals 342, 338, and 1500 are determined to stand together and remain more united than ever. The more united the locals remain, the more power we have at the bargaining table.

Members should continue to stay focused and informed. Please report any rumors to your union delegate. Follow our updates on the union website and our Facebook page.

In Unity There is Strength!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Update #19 From UFCW Local 1500 on A&P (Pathmark) Bankruptcy Negotiations

United Food and Commercial WorkersImage via Wikipedia
The following update is from the UFCW Local 1500 A&P/Pathmark Bankruptcy Negotiation Team:

Negotiations between the UFCW Local 1500, A&P Pathmark and the several other affected UFCW Local Unions concluded Thursday evening with no progress having made between the parties.

The following is a brief summary of the current status of the negotiations:

1.  Unions representing UFCW members working in A&P/Pathmark stores located in New York have presented a united front to the company and have made it clear that their solidarity will not be broken.  Management must deal with the New York unions together.

2.   Despite various reports from other sources outlining the companies demands, UFCW Local 1500 members should understand these negotiations will NOT be driven by any set of unacceptable demands made by the company.  The Union considers several demands "dead on arrival."

3. The company is scheduled to appear before the Federal bankruptcy judge Monday morning, November 14, 2011. The unions are prepared to meet non-stop through the weekend to reach a fair agreement.

UFCW Local 1500 will continue to keep you updated as soon as events change.  We continue to work very hard to reach an agreement that saves jobs, keeps as much of our contract with Pathmark intact and helps return this company to profitability and growth.

Members should continue to stay focused, united and informed.  Please report any rumors to your union delegate. Follow our updates on the union website and our Facebook page.  As we have all along, we will continue to disseminate information to you in compliance with the confidentiality guidelines of the bankruptcy court.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

UFCW On Point: Nov 9, 2011

Check out the latest edition of UFCW International's OnPoint, summarizing what's going on in the UFCW around the nation.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Update #18: UFCW Local 1500 on the A&P/Pathmark Bankruptcy

Update from UFCW Local 1500 on the A&P/Pathmark Bankruptcy

Representatives of UFCW Local 1500 and several other UFCW Local Unions met Monday, November 7th, with the management team from the Yucaipa Investment company. Yucaipa is one of the investors that will be part of the management team charged with turning around this company, both financially and operationally.  To be clear, Yucaipa will be playing a leading role in the turn around of A&P (Pathmark).

As of today, we know the following regarding this most recent transaction:

1. The current board of directors at A&P/Pathmark will be dissolved and replaced by a new board.  A Yucaipa representative will chair the new board of directors

2. The UFCW International Union will have a representative on the new board.

3. The company will switch from a public company to a privately owned company.

4. The company is scheduled to appear before the bankruptcy judge on November 14th to seek approval of these actions.

5. Pathmark/A&P hopes to exit bankruptcy in early 2012.

Many Pathmark members have experience with Yucaipa from previous company organizational changes.  Does this recent transaction mean the unions will no longer have to negotiate labor concessions as part of the company turnaround?

Absolutely not.   In fact, the entire agreement between A&P/Pathmark and the group of investors led by Yucaipa is contingent upon labor concessions being negotiated and approved by the membership.  Should those concessions not be negotiated and ratified, the likely end result would be the possible liquidation of the company.

As we have always stated, during negotiations we will continue to emphasize that real change must come from management and that the union members must be real partner if the company is to succeed.  Once the union negotiators feel that an agreement has been reached, it will be brought before you.  We do expect that these negotiations will conclude in the very near future.

Union leadership goals have not changed since day one of this bankruptcy. We want to reach an agreement that saves jobs, keeps much of our contract with Pathmark intact and helps return this company to profitability and growth.

Thank you for the continued confidence and support of your union leadership.  Members should continue to stay focused, united and informed.  Please report any rumors to your union delegate.  Follow our updates on the union website and our Facebook page. As we have all along, we will continue to disseminate information to you in compliance with the confidentiality guidelines of the bankruptcy court.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Mornin' One Liners: Nov 4 - Nov 7th: Burkle to Chair A&P


Ron Burkle will chair A&P under the new buyout plan.
The proposed new board of directors would also include two designees each from Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Mount Kellett Capital Management; one director selected by the United Food and Commercial Workers union; and A&P’s chief executive officer, Sam Martin. The former two companies are combining with Yucaipa on a $490 million deal to buy A&P out of U.S. Bankruptcy Court and operate it as a privately held company, as reported first in SN Thursday. The plan is predicated upon savings as a result of a new labor deal with the UFCW, which has yet to be reached.
Read more:
The Bergen Record: A&P Deal Called Positive for Unions, Business.

Wall Street Journal: Yucaipa keeps A&P in its Grocery Basket.

More @ Reuters, Progressive Grocer.

The Westbury Times profiles a Local 338 member working at Waldbaum's and how the A&P bankruptcy is affecting workers.

Patch highlights how A&P's negotiations have been affecting local workers in Long Island.

Best Yet will take over for a shuttered Waldbaum's in Patchogue, Long Island.

The National Labor Relations Board accuses Target of intimidating workers at Valley Stream before their union vote this past June.

There's a Thanksgiving Food Drive at Dix Hills Stop & Shop.

King Kullen opened a new store Friday in Garden City, Long Island.

Rumors of a new "high-end" supermarket could be opening in Southampton.

30 workers at Master Food in Flatbush have been overworked and underpaid, Local 338 helped them win back wages and a union contract!
Workers at a Flatbush supermarket who charged they were illegally stiffed on their wages for years settled a lawsuit for $300,000 - and a union contract.
The 30 workers at Master Food on Church Ave. charged they worked 12 hour days, six or seven days a week, for as little as $3.93 an hour, and never got required overtime pay. Read more: @ Daily News

Prioritizing attacks on NLRB at the expense of Jobs:
According to a new report from American Rights at Work in 2011 alone Republicans have launched nearly 50 attacks on the National Labor Relations Board. 

The AFL-CIO says it right: "The assaults on workers’ rights comes at a time when most Americans say jobs are the nation’s No. 1 priority."

Check out the report along with some interesting graphics here.

AFL-CIO Blog: For the third time in a month, senate repbulicans kill "Rebuild America Act," an act which would create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The AFL-CIO Blog also lists Verizon and 29 other very large corporations who haven't paid taxes since 2007.

Unions supply food for thousands of Occupy Oakland protesters.

UFCW Blog: 80,000 Jobs aren't enough to re-start our economy.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nov. 4: Week's End News

SN: A&P Agrees to Deal to Emerge from Bankruptcy

A&P Receives $490 Million Commitment to Sponsor Plan of Reorganization:
Agreement with The Yucaipa Companies, Mount Kellett and Investment Funds Managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management Positions A&P to Exit Chapter 11 as a Private Company in Early 2012Here's A&P's Press Release.

Since the announcement, the UFCW A&P Negotiating team has released two statements, the first here and second here.

Workers at Bob's Discount Furniture Stores continue to organize throughout the Northeast.

The landlord of a Pathmark in Lackawanna is telling Pathmark, "shape up, or ship out!" Blaming A&P's old un-renovated Pathmark for the shopping center's demise.

Southhampton Village has drafted a new law altering zoning regulations for supermarkets, in order to allow King Kullen to build a new store.

Fresh & Easy debuts an express store format.

Nov. 4th: Update to all UFCW/RWDSU Members Working at A&P or Subsidiary Company

The following message is from the UFCW/RWDSU A&P Negotiating Team

November 4, 2011

Attention all UFCW/RWDSU Members Working at A&P or Subsidiary Company:

A&P has filed a motion in the Bankruptcy Court asking approval to enter into agreements with Yucaipa and certain note holders. Those agreements would form the basis of a plan of reorganization and an investment in A&P of $490 million by Yucaipa and those note holders. This investment is conditioned on obtaining concessionary labor agreements on a very fast time frame. The Motion is scheduled to be heard by the Bankruptcy Court on November 14, 2011.

The UFCW and UFCW Local Unions will be meeting on Monday, November 7, 2011, with Ron Burkle of Yucaipa, one of the investors in this proposed transaction. We are pleased, given his past experience in the grocery business, that he will be involved in this proposed transaction. The Monday meeting will review these investment proposals and the path forward to try to reach new labor agreements.

We will further communicate with you following the meeting with Ron Burkle and advise you of our progress.

In Solidarity,

UFCW A&P Negotiating Committee

Download the printable format below: 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nov. 3, 2011: Statement from UFCW/RWDSU Negotiating Committee on A&P

United Food and Commercial WorkersThe following is a statement is from the UFCW/RWDSU A&P Negotiating Committee:

Attention all UFCW/RWDSU Members Working at A&P or Subsidiary Company:

This morning, A&P announced in their stores to members that it reached an agreement with financial institutions to bring the company out of bankruptcy in early 2012 as a private company and begin the turnaround process.

While this is generally good news, there are details relative to the management direction of the company still being reviewed. Negotiations with the UFCW and the RWDSU Council for new labor agreements are still not concluded. It is very important to realize that the financial arrangement to bring the company out of bankruptcy is contingent upon labor agreements that are modified from their present form. Our labor agreements will be different than those we are presently working under.

On Tuesday, the UFCW bargaining committee reviewed Yucaipa’s proposal to finance an effort to emerge from chapter 11. We will continue to review announcements from Yucaipa and A&P as they will affect our future contract.

We are still reviewing the details of today’s announcement by A&P. We will examine closely whether or not it meets the objectives of the bargaining committee of local unions.

It is important for UFCW and RWDSU members to remain unified and in contact with their local union representatives with any questions that you may have regarding the discussions between the UFCW and A&P representatives.

In Solidarity,

UFCW A&P Negotiating Committee

Download the print version below:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011