Dominick’s and UFCW Play Let’s Make a Deal
By George Anderson
Employees at Dominick’s Finer Foods have been working under contract extensions since 2003. That may finally come to an end as Locals 1546 and 881 of the United Food and Commercial
Workers (UFCW) has reached an agreement, pending ratification by members, on a new three year contract with the chain.
Terms of the deal were not made public, but the parent company of Dominick’s has been seeking wage and benefit concessions from the union as it seeks to bring its costs more
in line with non-union competitors.
The union has maintained throughout negotiations that it was not the workers and their compensation packages that resulted in Dominick’s being less competitive in the Chicagoland
The UFCW said Safeway replaced popular brand-name and Dominick’s private label products with its own retail brand. It also eliminated ethnic products that were popular in many
of the neighborhoods in which the chain has stores.
The grocer’s market share declined from 23 percent in 2001 to 15 percent last year, according to research from the Gale Group cited in a Chicago Sun-Times report.
In previous deals with the UFCW made in other markets, Safeway has been successful in getting the union to agree to a two-tier systems of wages and also require contributions
by employees to the company’s health plan.
Dominick’s spokesperson, Wynona Redmond, said the company was pleased with the agreement, adding, “Both sides worked very hard.”
Moderator’s Comment: What will a new labor contract, assuming members ratify, mean for Dominick’s and Safeway? –
George Anderson – Moderator