UFCW Negotiators in SoCal Talks Blast Grocer’s Modified Proposal, Demand More Compromises

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UFCW Workers Could Be Called Out On Strike Following 2nd Strike Vote

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Negotiators for 62,000 grocery workers in Southern California have dismissed a modified health care proposal from Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons as a deceptive and hollow attempt to avert a pending labor dispute.

“To succeed, the newest tactic assumes that the actuarial projections that must accompany such proposals are so complex in nature that they won’t be independently investigated or researched by media or by members themselves.”

Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons have been negotiating with seven local unions of the United Food and Commercial Workers since early this year. On Aug. 19, the grocery workers are scheduled to vote on accepting or rejecting any offers the employers have on the table at that time.

In letters sent this week to their employees, management made several false claims about their proposal.

While the letters assert that grocery workers would not be asked to pay higher co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, the employers’ offer fails to include adequate increases in employer contributions to the workers’ health and welfare trust fund.

As a result, the trust fund, which pays for the health care for grocery workers and their families in Southern California, would run out of money unless the workers are forced to pay higher fees or accept drastic cuts in medical services for themselves and their families.

Management’s proposal also includes employee-paid premiums that would cost almost $1,200 a year. This would be an unacceptable burden on the families of grocery workers, most of whom earn about $24,000 annually.

Mickey Kasparian, president of UFCW Local 135 in San Diego and Imperial Counties, called the offer a “deceptive bait-and-switch ploy designed to fool their own employees into believing that negotiations are proceeding smoothly.”

“Management’s gesture rings hollow more for what it lacks than what it contains,” said Greg Conger, president of UFCW Local 324 in Orange County. “To succeed, the newest tactic assumes that the actuarial projections that must accompany such proposals are so complex in nature that they won’t be independently investigated or researched by media or by members themselves.”

“Unfortunately, Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons did not include in their newest offer the additional funding that will be necessary to avoid the very cuts they claim to be off the table,” said Bill Lathrop, president of UFCW Local 1167 in the Inland Empire.

“Unfortunately, the companies have agreed to only a half-dozen face-to-face meetings in the past four months, despite the UFCW’s willingness to meet at any time and at any location,” said Connie M. Leyva, president of UFCW Local 1428 in the Pomona/Claremont area.

“The employers need to return to the table with real compromises that the workers can accept,” Leyva said.

via Business Wire.

1 COMMENT

  1. j can onlly comment as a retired ufcw member
    markwts use dto be a good place to work.
    when i started almost everyone was full time. the benefits were decent. one could raise a family, a good middle class career
    thats gone
    now its almost all part time, dimished benefits, you all know the story
    this proposal would just finish turning the knife.
    we retired persons can only sit by the sidelines and listen
    our pension has no cost off living increase
    fringe benefits are reduced just like the active people, but we are getting older, we need the benefits more not less
    a strike would only benefit the employers in my opinion, cause they have the big money. But we will not go down without a fight

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