ACME CONTRACT NEGOTIATONS UPDATE
FROM PRESIDENT JOHN T. NICCOLLAI
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2016
The Company presented the Negotiating Committee today with a second Company proposal in an attempt to reach an agreement with the Local Union. Although there were several areas of progress, the proposal in its entirety falls short of our needs and fails to address many of our concerns. A synopsis of the Company’s proposal is as follows:
1. Proposed language to address inequities in the event of increases in the minimum wage.
2. Wage increases between $.25 and $.35 per hour per year over the course of the agreement.
3. Increases in the contributions for Health and Welfare Plans of 2.75% per year.
4. Medical co-pay for current employees of $5.00 per week, and medical co-pay for new hires of $10.00 per week.
5. Increases of $13.60 per month for full-time Pension without any discussion of increases or improvements.
6. Restoration of one week’s vacation for all employees with at least two weeks, and allowing the use of singe day increments for one week of vacation for all employees with at least four or five weeks of vacation.
7. The addition of one sick day for all full-time employees who currently have two or less sick days.
8. Implementation of additional shifts for full-time employees to meet the needs of customer shopping patterns.
The Committee stressed to the Employer the fact that we suffered from wage reductions and failed to receive a wage increase over the last five years. The Company was told that the wage increases proposed do not even come close to addressing the needs of our full-time and part-time members.
The Employer was also informed of the following:
1. Sick Days, Holidays and Personal Days must be increased over the course of the agreement.
2. We coined the term “co-pay -- no way”, for our position against both full-time and part-time members paying for Health Care.
3. We indicated that we seek to improve our Pension benefits because of our concern for the faltering Social Security System.
4. The Committee is hard-pressed to understand the need for additional starting times, considering all the flexibility the Employer presently maintains.
The Committee also was adamant in demanding that the contract language among several agreements be standardized wherever possible.
In line with that, such issues as Travel Pay, Holiday Pay, Jury Duty and Funeral Leave were enumerated.
The Committee also recommended that the Company consider some type of Buyout Program for senior full-time associates with 30 or more years of service. This would allow our most senior members who are contemplating retirement to leave with an economic incentive. In addition, it would provide careers for younger associates and, as well, save the Company funds by reducing the number of top paid employees.
With the contract expiration date of December 3rd rapidly approaching, we would ask all our Brothers and Sisters to let the Company know that we will not agree to a contract that fails to meet our needs. Obviously, no one is looking for a strike, but we cannot continue to work under an agreement that does not recognize our five years of sacrifices, and that does not provide for our needs going forward. Your help in this area is essential and will make a difference in our result.
We will continue to keep our Brothers and Sisters informed as events occur.