CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE FROM
PRESIDENT JOHN T. NICCOLLAI
Contract Update: ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Kings, Foodtown & Westchester Independents
With two days left until our contract expiration, progress continues to be slow; but the good news is we are seeing some movement. The Companies have taken off the table a number of concessions and givebacks relating to Seniority, Discipline, Holidays, Vacation and refusal to make contributions to our Legal and Educational Funds.
There are numerous monumental issues unresolved, some of which are capable of precipitating a strike as follows:
1. The Company is adamant on the elimination of the Sunday Premium.
2. The Company is holding firm to a much reduced wage and benefit package for New Hires.
3. The Company anticipates that all employees with medical coverage will co-pay a portion of the premiums.
4. The Union and the Companies appear far apart on the monies necessary to properly fund our Welfare and Pension Plans.
We were given a wage proposal of $45.00 for all full-time employees over the term of the Agreement. It is yet unclear as to the length of that term, and that issue as well must be resolved.
It appears that the agenda going forward will involve the following:
1. A meeting tomorrow of the Union and Company Professionals to resolve final Welfare & Pension contributions.
2. A meeting between the Union Negotiating Committee and Companies on Friday, with the expectation Pension and Welfare contribution numbers will be finalized, and will permit progress in the area of wages and the remaining Company demands.
We will post again tomorrow to report the results of the meeting between our respective Professionals.
Again, we ask all members to let the Companies know that we will not reach an agreement riddled with concessions and givebacks. We are prepared to strike rather than cave in to the Companies’ unreasonable demands.