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President’s Message

Mickey

MICKEY KASPARIAN
President

We Negotiate Contracts for a wide-range of Workers

Did you know that UFCW Local 135 represents more than Grocery workers? Within the grocery stores we represent everyone from meat cutters to pharmacists and in some stores, fuel station attendants.

Outside of the grocery industry, we represent workers in print shops, shops inside the airport, dental offices, Kaiser pharmacists and pharmacy techs. We are diversified in our representation and negotiate different contracts for a wide-range of workers.

Of course we all know the big three – Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons, in which the contract was ratified last year and will be up for negotiations again in 2019. Other grocery stores include Gelsons, Food 4 Less, Keils Food Store, and Stater Bros. and all have different contracts we negotiate on behalf of the workers.

Every one of these contracts is different for each employer. But all contracts have many things in common. To the point, our Secretary-Treasurer, Richard Barrera and I are negotiating year round. We are currently working on negotiating Food 4 Less and CVS contracts.

A union contract is a legal document that defines workers’ rights and benefits. Contracts are the result of bargaining between the union and the employer. Meetings, discussions, and survey results may be used by us to find out what issues are important to you. After a majority of voting employees approve their contract language, it goes into effect.

We negotiate many things that can and do make it into the contracts; and they are tailored for each industry, shop, factory, store, and depend on what the workers want.

Union contracts contain a no-discrimination policy. Employers cannot discriminate against employees because of union membership, age, creed, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, etc.

Union contracts contain a seniority policy, which is intended to reward people who have put the most time into their job. It is often used to determine who gets promotions, but there are usually job classification systems that ensure that people must have a certain level of knowledge to fill a certain position.

The grievance procedure is so important. This keeps management from violating our contract. Grievances provide a way for conflicts between management and employees to be resolved fairly. If an employee feels he or she has been wronged and cannot resolve it with management, one of our union representatives will meet with management to try to resolve the matter. If that fails, another attempt is made with upper management. If that fails, a neutral arbitrator may be called in to decide the issue and their word is binding.

Your contract defines your wages, raises, hours and overtime. Usually, 40 hours at 8 hours a day is defined as full time so that any more than 8 hours worked in one day or 40 hours worked in one week require overtime payment.

Vacations, holidays, sick pay, health benefits and retirement are all negotiated by your union.

Union stewards are included in your contract. They represent the union at your job. They make sure the contract is not violated and help employees who have problems with management.
There are provisions for No Strike/No Lockout during the duration of the contract, the union may not strike and management may not lock employees out of the workplace.

We fight hard every time we negotiate to not let the employer cut anything from your benefits. We negotiate your contracts with your best interests at heart. We fight for you every day.