Coastal grocery union approves contract.
Byline: LARRY BACON The Register-Guard
Nearly 1,200 coastal grocery workers at 17 stores on Thursday finished ratifying new five-year labor contracts identical to those approved by fellow union workers in the Eugene-Springfield area Nov. 24.
Voting by members of the United Food and Commercial Workers The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union is a labor union representing approximately 1.4 million workers in the United States and Canada in many industries, including agriculture, health care, meatpacking, poultry and food processing, manufacturing, textile and Union Local 555 took place on the south coast Tuesday, in Florence on Wednesday, and in the Newport-Lincoln City area on Thursday. They included employees of Safeway, Fred Meyer, McKay's and Albertsons stores.
The largest group of employees - about 800 - were on the south coast and work in stores in Coos Bay Coos Bay (ks), city (1990 pop. 15,076), Coos co., SW Oreg., a port of entry on Coos Bay; founded 1854 as Marshfield, inc. 1874, renamed 1944. , North Bend North Bend is the name of several places in the United States of America:
A scallop-shaped dish or a scallop shell in which various seafood dishes are browned and served.
[French, from Latin conch , Myrtle Point, Bandon and Reedsport.
Ed Clay, the union's secretary-treasurer, said the approval was expected because the Eugene-Springfield vote traditionally sets terms for similar contracts in communities around the state outside the Portland metropolitan area The Portland-Vancouver, Oregon-Washington, Metropolitan Statistical Area, also known as the Portland metropolitan area or Greater Portland, is an urban area in the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington centered around the city of Portland, Oregon. .
Union members in the Eugene-Springfield area approved their contract by a 3-1 ratio after months of bitter negotiations that took workers to the brink of a strike.
In the end, workers approved a compromise contract that largely continues generous health-insurance packages in return for meager mea·ger also mea·gre
1. Deficient in quantity, fullness, or extent; scanty.
2. Deficient in richness, fertility, or vigor; feeble: the meager soil of an eroded plain.
3. pay raises and other concessions to management.
Clay could not provide vote totals on the coastal contracts, but said they "passed by a fairly wide margin." Unlike the Eugene-Springfield area, he said, the coastal grocery stores were not affiliated with bargaining organization Northwest Food Employers Inc. which represented the Eugene-Springfield Safeway, Fred Meyer and Albertsons stores.
In the three areas of the coast, he said, each grocery company has separate contracts with their employees. And among those employees, he said, there were different contracts for grocery clerks and meat cutters A Retail Meat Cutter prepares primal cuts into a variety of smaller cuts intended for sale in a retail environment. The duties of a Meat Cutter are related to that of a Butcher. .
All the contracts followed the lead of the Eugene-Springfield settlement which called for a term of five years with two 25-cents-an-hour raises for journeymen employees only - one immediately and one in 2004, with three lump-sum bonuses. Journeymen employees are those with 2 1/2 years or more experience Employees agreed to share some of the costs of rising health insurance premiums, but will incur no out-of-pocket expenses out-of-pocket expenses n. moneys paid directly for necessary items by a contractor, trustee, executor, administrator or any person responsible to cover expenses not detailed by agreement. until the annual increases hit 21 percent.
Previous coastal contracts had all expired, in either August or October. Like the Eugene-Springfield employees, the coastal workers had authorized au·thor·ize
tr.v. au·thor·ized, au·thor·iz·ing, au·thor·iz·es
1. To grant authority or power to.
2. To give permission for; sanction: their union representatives to call a strike, and were prepared to walk out if their fellow union members in Eugene and Springfield had done so. That fact provided workers additional leverage in the key Eugene-Springfield negotiations, Clay said.
"We were able to get a little better contract for everybody," he said.
The coast votes mean that all the Oregon grocery union employees now have contracts, he said, but negotiations begin soon on contracts for employees in Roseburg, Grants Pass, and Medford that expire early next year.
"We will probably end up with a similar offer for them to what we got in Eugene," Clay said.