I am so proud of our members at Rite Aid who stood strong with their co-workers, their communities and certainly their fellow union members who came out from Albertsons, Ralphs Vons, Food 4 Less, CVS and JBS!
Your solidarity gave UFCW Local 1167 and six other UFCW unions in Southern California the strength we needed to reach a successful agreement with Rite Aid’s management after months of contentious negotiations.
The three-year contract guarantees wage increases and protects pensions and health care for current and retired members was ratified by the Rite Aid members in October. This was a long and hard fight, but we all, especially our members, understood what was at stake, rallying to defend the standards that were set through negotiations of past contracts. Our members at Albertsons, Ralphs, Stater Bros. and Vons performed an important role in this success by pledging their support with their union sisters and brothers at Rite Aid. Thank you! You are this union and you are the reason for its success.
This is no time for rest, because the same spirit of solidarity will be crucial yet again as we prepare for contract negotiations with the major food employers next year. There is no reason to think these negotiations will be easy, either. Nothing worth fighting for is easy, but as Thomas Paine wrote during the darkest hour of the American Revolution, “the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” I have no doubt of our ability to prevail when the members of UFCW Local 1167 demonstrate the full strength of their unified spirit.
In preparation for these negotiations, Local 1167 has sent questionnaires to members who work in the supermarkets, asking them what they would like to see in their next contract. This step is important because a labor contract is a complicated document that covers every aspect of your employment, from the wages you earn to the sick days and vacations you take. It determines the extent of your health benefits, the amount invested in your retirement fund and the rights you have to file a grievance to correct improper treatment toward you or loss of wages or benefits you may have been wrongly denied. Please complete your questionnaires so we can have a clear idea of our goals in this process.
As negotiations begin, please keep doing your part by speaking positively about your union at every opportunity, at home and especially at the workplace. Make it clear to your employer that you stand with your sisters and brothers 100 percent!
Throughout the process, it will be important for all union members to stay informed through reliable channels. Some employers have been known to spread misinformation and anti-union propaganda in an attempt to divide and weaken our ranks. If you see this happening, don’t believe any of it and let your Union Representative know immediately!
Remember, only your union represents your interests and no one else’s. For the real story, trust only the information provided by your Union Representative and/or our official messages delivered via text message, social media, our website (ufcw1167.org), flyers and the Desert Edge magazine. Our members at Albertsons, Ralphs, Stater Bros. and Vons stood strong with their sisters and brothers at Rite Aid, and I know they will stand strong in our upcoming negotiations as you have all done before.
You are the Union, and a Union is a is a powerful thing when we stick together!
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