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Bay Valley Foods Announces Plant Closure; Union to Bargain Over Effects

Bay Valley Foods recently announced it would close the operation in Plymouth, Indiana at the end of 2017; about one hundred members of UFCW Local 700 make pickles at the plant. During contract negotiations earlier this year, the company did not indicate an intention to close the plant and agreed to contract improvements, not concessions, that were approved by members.

UFCW Local 700 will negotiate with the company over the effects of the plant closure and possible opportunities for employees to transfer to other Bay Valley facilities. We expect the process to begin later this summer.

In addition, we are committed to working with local agencies to help employees find the resources you need during this time of transition.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative, Karen Salzer or Juan Garcia, at (800) 334-3619.

UFCW700 Members at Tyson Approve New Contract

Members of UFCW Local 700 have overwhelmingly approved a new, five-year contract with Tyson Foods in Logansport, IN; the new agreement helps create a more secure future for workers and our families. Thank you to everyone who participated in negotiations by submitting contract proposals, updating your co-workers on the process, and voting on the contract. New contract books will be available as soon as possible.

Our new union contract:
✓ Increases wages substantially to meet industry standards
✓ Adds a week of vacation upon ten years of service (from three weeks to four weeks)
✓ Adds a summer floating holiday
✓ Improves funeral leave policy for employees working shifts longer than eight hours
✓ Increases provided gear for cold weather items and creates new boot allowance
✓ Offers greater protection for the rights of immigrant workers
✓ Upgrades classifications for several jobs
✓ Provides for health care review to ensure affordable, quality care is protected for members and our families

Should you have any questions or if you’d like further information, please contact your Union Stewards or Union Representatives.

UFCW700 Adds New Staff Position to Better Enforce Contracts

Jason Morey has joined the staff of UFCW Local 700.

UFCW Local 700 members work together to build a better life for our members and all middle class families. Members recently approved a dues restructure to build a bigger, stronger union, and to give us more resources and power at the bargaining table, in organizing new members, and in strengthening our communities.

This week, Jason Morey joined the UFCW Local 700 team. A member of UFCW for eleven years, Jason worked at Kroger, served as a Union Steward, and worked on special projects with the Indiana AFL-CIO. Jason’s job will be to lead audits to ensure that members are being paid appropriately by the company, monitor full-time and part-time positions, update classification and contact information, and other projects. The information provided by the internal audits will be invaluable for grievance management, bargaining, and communication.

Jason has hit the ground running and Is looking forward to his role to better enforce our contract language and ensuring the most accurate and up-to-date information for our members.

Sec.-Treas. Mike Merrell and Jason Morey review a membership audit.

UFCW700 Members at ConAgra Dairy Approve New Four-Year Contract

UFCW Local 700 members at ConAgra Dairy in Indianapolis have overwhelmingly approved a new, four-year contract. The Union Bargaining Committee focused on protecting and increasing benefits and fair treatment for everyone working in the plant.

The new contract:

  • Raises wages, closes the 2-tier wage gap, and provides a lump sum payment
  • Increases pension benefits
  • Maintains Health and Welfare benefits for families
  • Protects crewing seniority and overtime
  • Gives more flexibility for use of vacation time

The contract is effective upon ratification.

UFCW President Perrone Makes Statement on Amazon Go

Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, made the following statement about Amazon Go:

“Amazon believes that America’s hard-working men and women are irrelevant to customers – they couldn’t be more wrong. The amazing people who work inside grocery stores are more than neighbors and friends, they provide an invaluable and vital service.

“Those who work in our local grocery stores do a lot more than just ring people up at the register. They are professionals who advise customers about the right cut of meat, help them find the products they need, create expertly prepared meals and most importantly, can be trusted to ensure that everything bought in their stores is safe to consume.

“Amazon is masking its blind greed as progress. This is not about improving customer experience: It is about destroying good jobs, with no regard to the families and communities impacted. This is not the America that hard-working families want and deserve.”

The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

Holiday Season Brought to You by Members of UFCW

After a long and divisive election, it is time for all of us to celebrate the spirit of a holiday season that brings us all together.

UFCW700 President Joe Chorpenning with members at ConAgra

UFCW700 President Joe Chorpenning with members at ConAgra

As America’s food union, United Food and Commercial Workers members proudly prepare and make many of the foods that families all across the Hoosier state and this nation will see on their Thanksgiving table. At ConAgra, our members work hard to make the holidays happen by making and processing the food that so many all across our great community love, because they know how hard families work every single day.

Giving thanks to those who work hard and sacrifice on days like Thanksgiving and Christmas is not about being gracious, it is about whether we as a nation honor hard work with better wages and benefits. Because of good contracts negotiated with responsible union retailers like Kroger, our hard-working members are able to earn extra pay and other benefits when they work holidays. Smarter scheduling and a union contract also allow our members the opportunity to shape their schedules, such as deciding whether to work on holidays, without fear of losing their jobs.

These are good local jobs. Good American union jobs. Good union jobs that not only can’t be outsourced, but also provide real value to their employers, the community and the customers they serve.

Unfortunately, other hard-working retail workers, like those at Walmart or Marsh, are not as fortunate.

All across our community, men and women who work at these retailers will have little to no choice as to whether they work on holidays. Because they lack a contract that protects their rights, these retail workers have no real power to say “no” to working on a holiday, or any other day. Even worse, they must accept jobs that pay low wages with unpredictable schedules and little to no benefits or protection.

The truth is that America is better than this, and the power to change our community for the better is within all of us. Union workers’ wages are 27 percent higher than their nonunion counterparts, and union workers are more likely to have jobs that provide health insurance, paid vacation, fair scheduling, and holidays and sick leave. Every one of us can help send a message by choosing to value companies that value our families.

At UFCW Local 700, we sincerely believe that no one should have to struggle alone, whether it is on a holiday or any other day. And, by choosing to shop at responsible stores this holiday season, we as a community can help send a powerful message of thanks.

Thank employers who do what is right, and workers who work hard for us all.

Happy Holidays.

UFCW Local 700 Members at ConAgra Bakery Approve First Union Contract

Members of Union Bargaining Committee

Members of Union Bargaining Committee

In June, workers at ConAgra in Indianapolis chose to join the UFCW Local 700 union family; last week, members approved their first union contract!

Together, and thanks to the efforts of the Union Bargaining Committee and SubCommittee, we reached an agreement that provides a better life, a more secure future, and respect on the job for the hardworking men and women of ConAgra bakery, and their families.

The new, three-year contract includes:

  • Mutual agreement to evaluate hours of work to create a pathway for more stable hours and more full-time jobs
  • Seniority protection for layoff and recall, job bidding procedure preventing favoritism and disparate treatment
  • More flexible leave policies, including union and personal leave
  • Strong language protecting the rights of Immigrant workers
  • Preferential hire provisions for workers at ConAgra Bakery who choose to transfer to 62nd Street plant
  • Labor-Management committee to discuss workplace, and health and safety issues
  • Lump sum bonus and guaranteed wage increases during the contract
  • Weekly pay for workers at the plant
  • Protection of wage rates, including increases prior to ratification
  • Guaranteed call-in pay for either four-hours or four-hours of work
  • Health care coverage maintained over term of agreement; company may not change benefit levels

UFCW700 Members Approve First Contract with Chartwells

After fighting for years to win their union, workers at Chartwells approved their first contract!

About sixty people work in cafeteria services at Anderson University; they are employed by Compass Group, a major corporation that manages vending machines and cafeteria staff for mostly schools, private prisons, and large workplaces.

Like too many other companies across our state, and the country, it was becoming harder for workers at Chartwells to get by. Their benefits were cut and wages were stagnant. They joined together to form a union.

The workers’ first election was overturned due to employer violations following an NLRB hearing and trial. Subsequently, the company agreed to card check, or voluntary recognition. Voluntary recognition means that the workers must not hold another election, but rather that when a majority of workers have filled out union cards, the employer recognizes the union to negotiate a contract.

Workers at Chartwells met and completed bargaining surveys in order to develop a list of priorities for negotiations. A Union Bargaining Committee met with the company over the course of a few months and finally reached a tentative agreement for a first contract, which was recently approved.

The new contract includes regular, guaranteed wage increases; advance notification for scheduling; paid time off (vacation and holidays); seniority rights; and affordable quality health care. Part-time workers now have provisions for funeral leave; paid time off, including vacation and sick days; and holiday pay.

“Our new union contract is going to improve the quality our lives,” said Sybilla Bryson, an organizing and bargaining committee member, and part-time employee at Chartwells. “It was definitely worth all the hard work of organizing. The experience of helping with organizing and negotiating our contract has changed and shaped me as a person in ways I didn’t know were possible; I am so much stronger now.”

Congratulations to workers at Chartwells for joining our union family, and coming together to negotiate with their employers for the kind of wages, benefits, and working conditions that help to build better lives.

 

UFCW700 Members Approve New Indianapolis Kroger Contract

UFCWMembers of UFCW Local 700 approved a new three-year contract for over 8,000 Kroger workers in the Indianapolis area.

The new agreement includes guaranteed wage increases; improves contract language; secures quality, affordable health care; maintains employee weekly contributions; and protects retirement security.

These contract gains are in addition to new, higher wage scales and advance scheduling provisions approved by members last year. Because of the new wage scales, employees earn bigger raises moving through each step and reach the top rate sooner. Those new brackets were effective November 15, 2015. Members of UFCW approved the creation of the UFCW Consolidated Fund in 2011, which provides and guarantees pension coverage through 2021.

Should you have specific questions, please contact your Union Representative.

UFCW700, Kroger Reach Tentative Agreement for Indianapolis Contract

 

UFCW Local 700 Union Bargaining Committee

Your UFCW Local 700 Union Bargaining Committee reached a tentative agreement with the Company for a new Indianapolis Kroger contract.

The proposed three-year agreement includes guaranteed wage increases; improves contract language; secures quality, affordable health care; maintains employee weekly contributions; and protects retirement security.

We were able to complete bargaining more quickly than normal because we agreed with the company to open the contract early and negotiated wage increases in November 2015. Members of UFCW Local 700 working in Indianapolis Kroger stores approved the new wage scale and improved scheduling provisions. The new pay rates were effective November 15, 2015. Because of the new wage scale, employees earn bigger raises as you move through each step and reach the top rate sooner. Additionally, members of UFCW approved the creation of the UFCW Consolidated Fund in 2011, which provides and guarantees pension coverage through 2021.

Details of the proposed agreement will be available in stores on Monday, May 9, and Tuesday, May 10. Members may vote on the contract in stores on Wednesday, May 11; voting schedules will be posted in stores on Monday, May 9.

Should you have specific questions, please contact your Union Representative.

Your UFCW Local 700 Union Bargaining Committee recommends a YES VOTE for approval of the proposed agreement.