2017: What a busy year it is!
It’s April already and we have a lot of work and negotiations ahead of us starting with Food4Less contract negotiations at the end of the Month. The contract expires in June and in the past Kroger has tried to make Food4Less employees agree to an inferior contract to what was negotiated for Ralphs employees.
Last year we all stood together with our brothers and sisters at Albertsons, Ralphs, and Vons and we will need to do the same with our Food4Less brothers and sisters to make sure they’re not treated as second-class citizens.
We must remember that this is the same Kroger executives who make millions of dollars a year while our own Food4Less members struggle to make ends meet.
The same goes for our CVS brothers and sisters. The CVS Union contract expires on June 30, 2017 and we are preparing for the next collective bargaining agreement. For many of you this will be your first experience with negotiations.
Negotiations provide us with the opportunity to make changes to our working conditions and improve our wages and benefits.
For your Union Leadership to negotiate the best possible contract, you and your coworkers must be strong and unified. This will send a strong message to management that you support your Union’s actions and are willing to take action – if necessary – to obtain a fair and equitable contract.
Last month we sent you a questionnaire to get your input for bargaining. We hope you have returned them so we know what is most important to you and to your coworkers.
Food4Less and CVS workers work as hard as the rest of us and we must show them that we won’t back down. We will stand in Solidarity to make sure all of our members enjoy affordable health care for their families, fair wages and a decent pension.
We are currently in negotiations with Quest Diagnostics, and we have some actions coming up to support our Quest brothers and sisters. On February 21, the phlebotomists voted in favor of strike authorization. We organized Quest Diagnostics workers more than a year ago and we have been unable to negotiate a fair contract with the company as yet.
One of the biggest sticking points is that Quest phlebotomists are on Medi-Cal because they can’t afford Quest’s insurance for their families, and we would like to bring them into our Trust. It’s a terrible thing to have full-time workers on public assistance when the company is earning billions of dollars.
In March we held a rally and press conference outside of Quest Diagnostics in Chula Vista on 4th Street. We had two more days of negotiations following that action and it looks as if Quest workers are going on strike as soon as April 19. We could use your help on the picket lines, so I hope you will join us out there.
This is our entire membership’s opportunity to show Food4Less and our new CVS and Quest members that their fight is our fight. This is also our opportunity to have new members step up and show leadership so we can fight for many of the issues that energize our members.
Together we can win a fair contract for each – Food4Less and CVS. Over the coming months your union representatives will be reaching out to you to support you so you can get active in these campaigns.