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Safeway, Lucky stores negotiate concessions.

In Northern California, 14 months of bitter negotiations between the Teamsters and Safeway Stores, Inc., and Lucky Stores, Inc., finally resulted in a 45-month contract for delivery and warehouse workers that was retroactive to the August 1, 1984, expiration date of the prior contract. Although 64.4 percent of the votes cast were against the accord, it carried because the union's bylaws require that two-thirds of the votes be negative for a turndown. A union official said the requirement was appropriate because the union believes a strike cannot be effective without the support of at least two-thirds of the members.

The concessions took several forms. One was adoption of a two-tier compensation structure under which employees hired after July 13, 1985, will take 3 years to progress to the maximum pay rate for their job, unlike current employees who started at the single rate. The same progression structure also applies to sick leave.

There also were permanent changes in benefits, with new employees limited to 6 paid holidays, compared with 11 for current employees, and 1 week of paid vacation, compared with maximum of 6 weeks for current employees.

During the first part of the contract, employees will receive semi-annual lump-sum payments calculated at 50 cents for each straight-time hour worked during the preceding 6 months. The first payment will be in March 1986 and the last in 1987. At that time, the 1,850 workers will begin receiving a 50-cent increase in hourly wage rates, which reportedly averaged $16.02 for drivers and $15.42 for warehouse workers at the time of settlement.

The contract also provided for increased use of casual and part-time workers and for changes in work schedules to permit weekend work to be performed at straight-time pay rates.
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Title Annotation:California
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Dec 1, 1985
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