Labor Agreement Reached But Not In CA

Nov 20, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Deli, meat and seafood department workers in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island, NY have reached agreement on a new four-year contract with the King Kullen, Pathmark,
Stop-and-Shop and Waldbaums supermarket chains, reports 1010 WINS radio news.

The chains and local 342 of the Supermarket Workers union have been trying to reach an agreement while continuing under terms of the old contract, which expired October 25.

The president of the union, Richard Abondolo, said the contract includes a salary increase with well-baby care added to workers health care coverage plan. Employees do not make
contributions to the employer-paid plan.

In other labor negotiation news, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) has reported progress in its negotiations with Kroger in Indiana.

In California, the chains and the UFCW appear still far apart despite the involvement of a federal mediator in the negotiations.

Moderator’s Comment: Do agreements reached with union locals outside California undermine the bargaining position of the chains in that state that are
currently involved in the lockout/strike?

We thought it interesting to find a letter to the editors of the New York Times from Wal-Mart disputing the position of the chains in California.

Mona Williams, vice president of communications for the retailer, wrote that with it opening 40 supercenters in the next four years in California, the company
will only employ 4,000 nonunion grocery workers in total.

“In other words”, she writes, “it is likely that Wal-Mart will employ about 2 percent of the total grocery work force in California four years from now.”

“That said, is it really credible to blame Wal-Mart for whatever the unionized grocers are doing (or not doing) in California? We think not.” [George
Anderson – Moderator

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