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Giant, Safeway keep health benefits.

Negotiators for Giant Food, Inc. and Safeway, Inc. and Local 400 of the Food and Commercial Workers recently signed a 4-year labor contract that retains fully paid health care benefits for about 20,000 grocery workers in the Washington, DC, area in exchange for delaying wage increases payable under the new contract. The accord was expected to serve as a pattern for an additional 8,000 grocery workers, 1,000 at Super Fresh stores in the Washington, DC, area and 7,000 Giant and Safeway workers in Baltimore, MD, represented by the union's Local 27. Local 400 coordinated bargaining with Local 27.

Terms of the agreement provided wage increases of 25 cents an hour in the first year of the contract and 35 cents an hour in each of the last 3 years. The top rate for assistant managers was $15.25 an hour at the expiration of the previous contract; for clerks, $12.65 an hour; and for journey-level meatcutters, $14.64.

Health care terms included continuation of company-paid health insurance premiums; establishment of a rehabilitation program for employees and their dependents for carrdiovascular or cerebrovascular accidents, closed head and spinal cord injuries, and neurological disorders; coverage for periodontal work at the 50-percent level for employees and their dependents; extension of orthodontia coverage to all employees; and an increase in employee copayments for prescription drugs, from 50 cents for each prescription to 5 percent of the cost if the drug is purchased at Giant or Safeway, or 10 percent if purchased elsewhere.

Other changes in health and welfare benefits included incentives to induce early retirement, up to a 50-percent increase in pension benefits for full-time workers' credited service before 1987 and a 100-percent increase in severance benefits for future service credit in excess of 20 years; a change in retirees' monthly copayments for medical benefits, from $171.95 for all retirees to a range of $15-$213, depending on an employee's age and years of service.

Other terms include a "most favored nation" clause that gives Giant and Safeway the option to incorporate in the current agreement any provision the local union negotiates with a competing grocery that is more favorable to the companies than the one currently in force in the Giant/Safeway agreement, and a maximum 35-hour work week, up from 29, for part-time employees.
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Title Annotation:labor contract of Giant Food Inc., Safeway Inc. and United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 400
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Dec 1, 1992
Previous Article:Wage parity at Diamond-Star.
Next Article:Early settlement at Nabisco.

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