Joe Duffle

Presidents Report - Summer 2024

Solidarity is key as bargaining proceeds for new contracts

A union as large as ours is always at work on behalf of its members. This is true on a variety of fronts. In this column, I will address developments in our negotiations with Food 4 Less, CVS and Rite Aid.

Food 4 Less: Local 1167 and our allied UFCW locals across California are continuing to meet with Food 4 Less and FoodsCo (in central California) to negotiate a new contract.

We’re not interested in wasting time. On the first day of bargaining, we presented all of our proposals, including wages, to the company’s representatives and asked them to return with serious answers so we could move the process forward. Our goal is to reach a strong and equitable agreement, one that our members have earned and deserve, by the time our current contract expires on June 8.

Unfortunately, management continues to shoot down our reasonable offers and refuses to share its own full proposals on some of our most important issues, including additional hours and staffing. They haven’t even responded to our wage proposals.

On March 7, Locals 1167 and 1428 hosted a major rally in front of the Food 4 Less store in Baldwin Park, where Local 1167 represents the Meat Department. In a strong showing of solidarity, the event was attended by hundreds of union members and representatives of other locals in the region. (See photo coverage on Desert Edge pages 10-11.)

As we approach the current contract’s expiration date, we plan to increase the pressure on Food 4 Less as we reach the expiration date with additional actions until the company takes these negotiations seriously.

It’s important to do your part. If you work at Food 4 Less, please stand with your union and your fellow union members, and let management know, politely but firmly, that this union is not to be trifled with! We’re not going to sit idly by and take whatever is thrown our way. To this end, your union representatives and stewards have been circulating petitions in every one of our stores. Thousands have already signed these petitions for what you want out of negotiations, but if you still need to participate, now is the time to make sure your voice is heard.

By the time you’re reading this, we will have already presented those petitions to Kroger and more rallies and demonstrations have been scheduled.

As always, if you have any questions about bargaining or if there is anything we can do to help , please do not hesitate to reach out to your union representative. It is imperative that you stay engaged. We are strong, we are united, and we are powerful! TOGETHER!

CVS: The UFCW unions of California have tentatively confirmed that negotiations with CVS will begin on May 23 and continue on June 5, 13, 20 and 21. Our goals remain the same as they do with the Food 4 Less negotiations!

Here, too, the solidarity of our membership will be crucial for our success. Stay tuned, get engaged and reach out to your union representatives for information.

Rite Aid: Our contract with Rite Aid is due to expire on July 20. In preparation for what could be an exceptionally difficult round of negotiations with this company, we have been reaching out to our members to see what they would like to see in their next contract.

In the meantime, we are working to help our members confront the stressful circumstances of potential layoffs and reductions of hours due to Rite Aid’s filing for bankruptcy. Your union will continue to communicate with Rite Aid and set dates if possible. They are not ready to meet, but we will continue to push for meeting dates.

Our members are hurt and angry. We have a responsibility to them to be thoughtful about the next move. Your union will continue to keep your best interests at heart.

UFCW LOCAl 1167 President
Joe Duffle

(909) 877-5000 ext 150