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Grocery accord reached in St. Louis.

More than 11,000 employees of grocery stores in the St. Louis, MO, area were covered by a settlement, preserving a 54-year history of never having engaged in a general work stoppage. The workers, who are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers, are employed in about 100 stores owned by the Schnucks, National, and Dierbergs chains of stores.

Jack Valenti, president of Local 655 of the union, described the 3-year contract a"reasonable," noting that the employees had gained back some of the wage cut they had accepted in 1985.

The contract terms include

* Restoration of a 65-cent-an-hour wage cut that senior

clerks had taken in 1985. They will also receive two $ 500 lump-sum payments.

* Pay increases totaling 89 cents an hour for part-time

employees and 25 to 50 cents for others.

* Lump-sum payments of $750 for some employees.

* A clause permitting drug and alcohol testing only in

cases where the employer can produce evidence of "just cause." The clause also requires that drug tests must be repeated at least once to assure accuracy.

Gains for the employers include provisions:

* Allowing stores to remain open until 8 p.m. (formerly

6 p.m.) on New Year's Eve.

* Requiring new employees to work 6 months (formerly

4) before they become eligible for paid holidays.

* Raising the eligibility requirement for full-time status

to 34 hours of work (formerly 30) per week.

* Extending the period new employees must work before

becoming eligible for health and pension benefits.
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Oct 1, 1988
Words:246
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