It seems like just yesterday we were negotiating our last grocery contract, but amazingly, it has already been two years and that contract is set to expire.
As of February, we find ourselves sitting across the table from Albertsons and Ralphs negotiators again. As I have said before, these negotiations are extremely difficult. Protecting our pension, health care and increasing wages are at the top of our list of requirements for our members.
We will fight for a good contract. In the past, we have gotten the best contracts we could for you. This year, you, our members, should expect to have to fight. Even if you are not a grocery employee, all of our members need to be supportive during this time.
I’ve been talking about activism for the past two years, and now we may need our activist members to come out for
us. We may need our grocery members to come out and take a strike vote. We may need non-grocery members to go out and picket and leaflet in front of stores.
For example, remember nearly two years ago when we picketed Food 4 Less? The labor and faith communities came out for us when we picketed Food 4 Less? We essentially held a strike without employees of Food 4 Less on the picket line. We may have to do something like that again.
None of these things we ask you to do necessarily means we will go on strike, but if we do, it will be for good reason. Please be prepared.
I am asking our members, their families and friends to show solidarity with us. We must remain strong throughout the process. Your strength and perseverance is needed as we sit down at the bargaining table with your employers.
We are just getting started and will continue to strive to keep you up to date on all the latest news regarding these negotiations.
If you have not done so already, please “Like” our Facebook page: UFCW Local 135, https://www.facebook.com/UFCW135. You can also follow us on Twitter @UFCW135.
You may also receive informative text messages and voice mail from us, if we have your cell phone number. And, of course, you can check the “Breaking News” section of our website at ufcw135.org.
One other thing I would like to mention is that although the contract expires this month, the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement will remain intact. There is no need to worry, or to listen to rumors.
This year we are more committed than ever to collectively bargain for pay increases and to keep your benefits that include one of the best health care and pension packages in the country.
The UFCW Local 135 is the strongest union in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Let’s stick together in solidarity and be prepared to fight during these negotiations. If we do, we will win.