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Unions settle at two grocery chains.

Four days after narrowly rejecting Lucky Stores' contract offer, members of two International Brotherhood of Teamsters units accepted slightly modified contract proposals, paving the way for final settlement of a 9-month dispute between the grocery chain and five Teamsters' units in the northern California Bay area. The three other units previously had agreed to the company's 42-month contract offers. All five units must accept separate, but parallel agreements before an agreement can take effect in any unit.

In the second vote, tire and lube workers at the Oakland warehouse approved a new proposal after Lucky agreed to review the employees' compensation structure, and warehouse workers in Vacaville accepted a new contract offer after the company made "minor changes" in productivity standards for the facility.

The company and union had been involved in a tumultuous bargaining round that included the union's boycott of 188 Lucky stores in the Bay area, the company's declaration of a bargaining impasse, and the union's filing of an unfair labor practices charge against Lucky.

Five days after the grocery chain declared that an impasse had been reached, it implemented portions of its final contract offer. The company unilaterally reduced the number of holidays from 12 to 9; eliminated the $1.25-an-hour swing/ graveyard shift premium, the $ 1 -an-hour Sunday premium, the one-half hour paid lunch period, and the 5-minute-a-day pay for hooking up and washing up; and cut new hires' pay from $13.53 to $11.24 an hour and reduced their annual paid sick leave from 12 to 5 days.

The agreement came only after the union called off the boycott and Lucky restored most of the contract terms it unilaterally changed. Me pact, which covered 1,300 drivers and warehouse workers in Sacramento, Oakland, Vacaville, and Vallejo, CA, provided annual wage increases of 40 cents an hour; a new early retirement plan under which an employee can retire without a reduction in benefits if the employee's combined age and years of service equal or exceed 85 ("rule of 85"); an agreement by the company to guarantee transfer rights and terms of the contract if a warehouse is closed or work is contracted to an outside company; and an increase of $1.05 an hour in the company's contributions to the union's health and welfare fund. Me contract called for concessions in some wage and benefit areas, including a decrease in holidays over the term from 12 to 10; a cut in sick leave from 12 days to 6 days, effective this year; elimination of the Sunday work premium, paid lunch periods, and wash-up/hook-up time; a reduced night work premium; and establishment of a new hires' wage rate equal to 85 percent of die full rate for drivers and 70 percent for other classifications, with progression to the full rate in 1 year for drivers and in 18 months for other workers.

Elsewhere, Smitty's Super Value, Inc. grocery stores and Local 99R of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) sigried a 21-month labor contract. The pact--the first since the company voluntarily recognized the union--covers about 4,500 grocery, produce, floral, bakery, and courtesy clerks in Maricopa and Pima counties, AZ. The agreement was reached after the parties agreed on a successorship clause requiring a successor company to honor the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement. The settlement calls for wage increases, if needed, to bring workers up to the wage standard for unionized grocery employees in Arizona, currently $11.42 an hour; ratification bonuses, ranging from $50 to $250; a night shift differential of 25 cents an hour, 9 paid holidays; paid vacations, ranging from 1 week for employees with less than 3 years of service to 5 weeks for employees with more than 20 years of service; and continuation of time and one-half for employees who currently are paid such a premium for working on Sunday and 50 cents an hour for all other employees.

Other terms eliminate the employee copayment of $11.92 a week for dependent coverage under the health care plan; provide the option for employees to participate in the union's defined pension benefit plan (previously, only a company-sponsored savings plan was available); continue the company's current practices of allowing vendors to stock their own merchandise and of leasing space in its stores to subcontractors; and add to the clerks' agreement 400 UFCW-represented meatcutters employed by Smitty's.
COPYRIGHT 1993 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Lucky Stores, International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Smitty's Super Valu Inc., United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
Author:Cimini, Michael H.; Behrmann, Susan L.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Mar 1, 1993
Previous Article:Five-year impasse ends in football.
Next Article:Labor-Management Relations in a Changing Environment.

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