LOS ANGELES, Oct. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Teamster unions representing more than 4,000 warehouse workers and truck drivers who deliver food and supplies to So. California’s largest grocery stores, Albertsons (includes Vons and Pavilions) and Kroger (includes Ralphs and Food4Less), reached a Tentative Agreement early this morning that avoids a strike by protecting Teamster families’ – and retirees’ – affordable health care. The Tentative Agreement, negotiated virtually during an historic pandemic that has grocery supply chain workers toiling around the clock in COVID-infected warehouses to keep shelves stocked – came as grocers, whom the Wall Street Journal called a “privileged group of retailers,” have enjoyed unprecedented profits resulting in massive increases in executive compensation (see attached report).
In a letter to members, Lou Villalvazo, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local Union 630, and Chair of the Teamsters Joint Council 42 Food & Grocery Negotiating Committee said, “We are proud to announce that early this morning, we reached a Tentative Agreement with the Food Employers (Ralphs Grocery, Albertsons, and Vons). Going into bargaining, our #1 concern was protecting your family’s – and retirees’ – affordable health care. Not only did we achieve that; your bargaining committee secured additional funding from the grocers to increase our reserve levels to protect your health care in the future.”
Eric Jimenez, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 952, noted, “Throughout this pandemic, our members have worked non-stop to make sure the shelves were stocked and these companies stayed afloat. All they’ve asked for in return is a safe workplace, affordable health care for their families, a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work, and retirement security.”
Rick Middleton, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 572, and Teamsters International Vice President, said, “Our members’ willingness to strike to protect their families sent a strong message to Kroger and Albertsons that resonated. We are very proud of the deal we have reached and strongly recommend a ratification by members.”
Randy Cammack, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local Union 63 and President of Teamsters Joint Council 42, said, “We could not have achieved this momentous victory without the solidarity of each and every Teamster local union involved in these negotiations – both at the table and as shop stewards in the yards. Further, the strong and public support for our fight for health care from Joint Council 42, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Locals 324 and 770, the L.A. County Federation of Labor, the faith community, and countless politicians sent a strong message to the employers that our fight was a community-wide fight and when they take the Teamsters on, they take on America!”
A special thanks to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) for assisting both parties reach an agreement in these tense virtual negotiations. Teamster members will be recommended to ratify the contract in coming weeks.
Barbara Maynard (323) 351-9321- [email protected]
SOURCE Teamsters Joint Council 42