Workers at CVS Ratify New Three-Year Contract!

Catherine, a Local 881 member from CVS 3940 (#5532) in Chicago counts the ratification ballots.

We are proud to share that the CVS Contract has been ratified! 

On March 8, members from the Local 881 Bargaining Committee counted ALL ballots received. We are pleased to report that the new contract has been approved and accepted by an overwhelming majority of CVS members. The new contract lasts for three years.

The new improvements were informed by the concerns of Local 881 members, was negotiated alongside members, was voted on only by active Local 881 members, and the ballots was also counted by members. This is what Union democracy is all about. 

Highlights of the new CVS Contract:

      • Considerable Wage Increases for ALL members over the life of the contract.
      • Significant overscale annual increases.
      • Suburban members will now have the same contract wage table as other CVS members.
      • Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday added, increasing paid holidays to seven.
      • Improved eligibility language for severance provisions.
      • Expanded Funeral Leave to include paid time off for the death of great-grandparents.
      • Enhanced Language for additional hours to be distributed by Seniority.

Thank you to all the members who took the time to review the proposals and vote. The new contract is effective immediately and you will receive printed copies soon.

It is our privilege to be at your service. Should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative at 847-294-5064 to discuss any concerns you have.

Workers at Osco Ratify New Three- Year Contract!

We are proud to share that the Osco Drug Contract has been ratified! 

On September 28th, members from the Local 881 Bargaining Committee counted ALL ballots received. We are pleased to report that the new contract has been approved and accepted by an overwhelming majority of Osco members. The new contract lasts for three years.

At Local 881, collective bargaining is a member-driven process. We
are incredibly grateful to your fellow hardworking Osco member, who served on the Bargaining Committee. It just makes sense to have workers who are impacted by the contract assist in negotiations.

The new improvements were informed by the concerns of
Local 881 members, was negotiated alongside members, was voted on only by active Local 881 members, and the ballots was also 
counted by members. This is what Union democracy is all about. 

Key Improvements in the New Osco Contract:

      • Guaranteed Wage Increases over the life of the contract.
      • Retro Pay for contractual wage increases will be retroactive to July 1, 2023.
      • Considerable Wage Increases for Top of Scale and Overscale members.
      • Controlled Costs for out-of-pocket health care expenses.
      • Expanded Funeral Leave to include paid time off for the death of great-grandparents.
      • Enhanced Language for additional hours to be distributed by Seniority.

Even though we don’t always get everything we bargain for, this contract is making progress towards a better future for workers. Local 881 celebrates this contract as it is historically the best and fairest offer we have received from Osco. To share your thoughts or concerns, come to a meeting, get involvedspeak with your Union Repspeak with President Powell, we are available and open to constructive criticism. With your passion, activism, and involvement, we will only be stronger.

We have been proud to represent Osco workers for decades and we have never wavered from our commitment to protecting and fighting on your behalf. You might not love or agree with everything we do, but the reality is we will always have your back. Your employer is busy trying to make every buck they can and would love nothing more than to see division within our ranks. We need to use ALL our collective strength for what is coming! 

Thank you to all the members who took the time to review the proposals and vote. The new contract is effective immediately and you will receive printed copies soon.

It is our privilege to be at your service. Should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative at 847-294-5064 to discuss any concerns you have.

Tentative Agreement for Osco Members In The Mail!

Voting ballots should be arriving in member mailboxes.

Every eligible Osco member was mailed the document and have the opportunity to consider the Tentative Agreement Offer and then cast a vote. The members alone will decide the outcome. Your Local Union is committed to making sure the voting process is administered in the most efficient, democratic, and equitable manner possible. 

Please review the Tentative Agreement and return your ballot to the union no later than Thursday, Sep 28! 

I heard we are getting…

Rumors can spread like wild fire. Don’t make a decision based on information that may be false or inaccurate. Wait to see the Tentative Agreement and read for yourself. Then cast your vote!

Should you have any questions we continue to be at your service and invite you to contact your Union Representative at 847-294-5064 to discuss any concerns you have.

Ongoing Mariano’s / Kroger Payroll Issues

Local 881 Kroger and Mariano’s members have experienced numerous paycheck issues due to a new payroll system Kroger implemented this fall across all its banners. The payroll issues have impacted nearly all of its 500,000 employees, including management. Like many workers elsewhere, Local 881 members in Illinois have reported widespread payroll errors, including:

    • Not receiving paychecks
    • Paid incorrect wages
    • Not receiving contractual wage increases
    • Unlawful deduction of overpayments
    • Not paid for contractual holidays
    • Union dues being deducted incorrectly

Local 881 has attempted to work with Kroger and Mariano’s representatives to resolve these issues but has learned that the payroll problems are widespread and occurring all over the country. Local 881 has been actively taking all steps it can to bring pressure and resolution to this catastrophic failure on the part of Kroger.

Local 881 has demanded information from Kroger/Mariano’s that would provide a detailed account of all payroll periods since the new payroll system was implemented so that a thorough investigation of each and every affected member’s payroll history could be conducted. To date, that request for information has not yet been provided by the Company and Local 881 has filed unfair labor practice charges with National Labor Relations Board.

Local 881 has also filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor asking for the agency to take immediate legal action to address the payroll issues, including the unlawful payroll deductions of overpayments made to employees.

Additionally, Local 881 has been in contact with the office of the Illinois Attorney General to consider its legal options, both civil and criminal, that would hold Kroger/Mariano’s accountable.

Local 881 and its attorneys are reviewing all legal options available to remedy this unbearable situation. In the meantime, Local 881 has posted a form on its website and is asking any member who has experienced a payroll issue to complete and submit the form.

Together, we will hold Kroger and Mariano’s accountable for the failures that have affected our members. We will continue to provide updates on the ongoing investigations and other actions.

On behalf of the entire staff of Local 881, please understand we are doing everything we can to resolve this situation as quickly as possible and are sorry for Kroger/Mariano’s gross negligence and unlawful conduct that has affected your families, especially at this time of year.

Sincerely, Steve Powell
President Local 881 UFCW

 

Local 881 Members at Jewel ACCEPT the New Contract

Today members from Jewel Local 881 Bargaining Committee counted ALL ballots received. Several rank-and-file Jewel members were also attendance as observers and counters. We are pleased to report that the new three-year contract has been approved and accepted by a majority of the members of Jewel Foods Stores.

This has truly been a unique bargaining cycle; unlike any we have ever seen. When the first agreement was rejected by Jewel members in August, it was a wake-up call for your employer but also quite honestly, for the Union. We recognized during the first round, that there was a disconnect between the members and the truth about how the bargaining process works. As a result, your Union was committed to investing more time being present and available in the stores to talk and work through the concerns of the membership.

What has transpired over the last few months has been incredible. A new wave of Union activism and engagement on the part of Local 881 members has occurred. What started with apathy and frustration ended with productive conversations. There were members that were OPPOSED to the direction of the new contract and there were others that were in FAVOR. Whether for or against, we are so proud that Local 881 members spoke up, asked good questions, came to meetings, called the office, talked to their coworkers, pushed for a better agreement, and most of all took the time to be involved in this process.

Going back to the negotiation table was a huge risk! We could have faced concessions and takeaways. But the committee was emboldened by the incredibly clear and vocal direction from the membership about needing to get to a better offer!

After several bargaining sessions, the negotiating committee was able to achieve their two most important goals:       

    1. Improve the offer; and
    2. Protect ALL previously hard-won contractual benefits

Contract improvements include:

    • No Takeaways! Absolutely nothing was conceded or taken away from our previous contractual benefits, rights, and protections.
    • Larger Initial Increases for Top of Scale members.
    • Premium Pay Increases for Personnel, Scan Coordinators, and Receivers.
    • Retro Pay for new contractual wage increases will be retroactive to July 31, 2022.
    • Wellness Rates Protected Within Albertson’s, Local 881 is the only Union to maintain this program that helps lower your healthcare costs.
    • Guaranteed annual wage increases for ALL members.
    • Considerable wage increases for Top of Scale and Overscale members.
    • Controlled costs for out-of-pocket health care expenses and deductibles.
    • Healthcare benefit eligibility reduced from 5 years to 3 years for part-timers.
    • New treatments added to health care plan.
    • Expanded funeral leave.

We want to recognize the hard work of the negotiating committee members. Their time and input have been invaluable. It’s not easy to stand up to your employer, but these brave members did. We are grateful for their service and dedication to the Union and to their fellow Jewel coworkers.

Now that the contract is signed, our work is NOT over, it is only just beginning. The future is uncertain. The industry is changing rapidly. The looming merger recently announced will become our Union’s top priority in working to OPPOSE any corporate power grab that could potentially impact our members’ livelihoods. 

We understand and expect that some Jewel members will be unhappy with the new contract, and with the Union. We know that we have work to do in earning your trust. If you’re angry, let’s talk about it. Come to a meeting, get involved, speak with your Union Rep, speak with President Powell, we are available and open to constructive criticism. With your passion, activism, and involvement we will only be stronger.

You might be upset with the Union, and you might not love or agree with everything we do, but the reality is we will always have your back. Your employer is busy trying to make every buck they can and would love nothing more than to see division within our ranks. We need to use ALL our collective strength for what is coming! We have been proud to represent Jewel workers for decades and we have never wavered from our commitment to protecting and fighting on your behalf.

It is our privilege to be at your service. Should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative at 847-294-5064 to discuss any concerns you have.

Workers at Schnucks and Dierbergs Ratify New Contracts!

Congratulations to members of Schnucks and Dierbergs who voted to ratify their new contracts. Ballots were counted at the Edwardsville office by rank-and-file members. Four unique two-years contracts were voted on, including: Schnucks Metro Clerks, Schnucks Meat-Deli-Seafood, Dierbergs Metro Clerks, and Dierbergs Meat-Deli-Seafood.

Improvements included:

    • substantial wage increases upon ratification
    • increases the night premium pay
    • increases the Full-time job ratio requirement during the term of the Agreement
    • increases the Personal Holidays for Part-time members
    • improvements to your health care coverage with NO increase to your weekly insurance premium deduction
    • new language to provide the ability to pick up available hours in your store or other stores

Thank you to all the members who took the time to review the proposals and vote. The new contract is effective immediately and wages increases will be implemented on Monday, October 24, 2022.

If you have any questions about the new contract, please contact your Union Representative.

Facebook Has Placed the 881 Page Under Review

Currently, Local 881’s Facebook Page has been disabled by the platform. On October 3, Local 881 UFCW received the following notification directly from Facebook:

We have taken steps to appeal this action. At this time, the page is under review by Facebook Community Standards team. We are awaiting their decision.

The removal of the page was NOT a choice or decision made by Local 881. In the last few weeks, Local 881 has welcomed the recent comments and increased activity on the Facebook page, as it is a direct reflection of member engagement during these very important contract negotiations. We want Local 881 members to be active and participate in all available capacities, including Facebook. 

We do not actively block users or delete comments, even if they are unfriendly towards the Union. Anyone can post on social media including those with anti-Union views, former Local 881 members, or non-members with an alternate agenda. We understand that Facebook allows users to vent and express their personal views, but unfortunately, not all Facebook user names are legal names, therefore we are not always able to verify whether comments are being made by a current dues-paying members. Our first priority is always to provide service to Local 881 members. Instead of engaging in online debate with potential non-members, we review comments for potential issues with verifiable members and attempt to follow up with those members personally.

We hope that Facebook will restore the Local 881 page, and if possible will continue using it to post updates in the future. In the short term we will post updates on our website and Instagram. 

Please contact your Union Representative if you have any questions.

Workers at Mariano’s Ratify New Four-Year Contract

Congratulations to the Local 881 members at Mariano’s who voted to ratify their new four-year contract.

Over the years, Mariano’s members have been very outspoken about their frustration with the current leveling system. The Bargaining Committee was proud to negotiate a new contract that both increased wages AND provided a complete transformation of old leveling system with a more flexible wage progression scale allowing for larger increases over time. In the old contract, you could be stuck at a certain level and only see minimal increases over time. The new contract allows for more significant wage increases over the life of the contract.

Members participated in a IN-PERSON vote at their stores. Union Representatives were on hand to help explain the new wage scales and answer questions. Ballots were then counted at the Des Plaines office by rank-and-file members with other Mariano’s workers present as observers.

Additional improvements to the contract included:

      • Guaranteed annual wage increases for ALL members over the life of the contract.
      • Transformation of leveling system to a more flexible wage progression allowing for larger increases over time. Eliminates requirement for extensive training and testing to achieve increases and removes obstacles to full-time status.
      • Cake Decorators and Pharmacy Techs will be recognized as unique classifications.
      • Starbucks/Vero/Stan’s Employees will receive a $1/hr premium.
      • New schedule variation for Full-time workers.
      • New parameters for vacation payout upon discharge or separation.
      • Protected weekly minimum hours for ALL members and current Level 2 notes/waivers on file will continue to be honored.
      • New annual measurement period for benefit eligibility and status will provide more stability, eliminating fluctuations in benefit coverage and costs.
      • Gender neutral language will now be used throughout the contract to better reflect our diverse membership.

If you are not sure where you fall in the proposed wage scale or how you will be impacted throughout the contract, please contact your Union Representative at 847-294-5064 for clarification. Reps are available to personally walk you through the information.

NEW Tentative Agreement Reached

After additional bargaining sessions, we were able to reach a NEW Tentative Contract Agreement Offer on behalf of the membership at Jewel Foods.

As of today, the NEW offer is being printed and prepared for mailing.  

What’s in this NEW offer?

We believe two important goals were achieved.

    1. The NEW Agreement is an improvement over the previous offer.
    2. The NEW Agreement successfully protects and defends all the previously hard-won contractual benefits you currently enjoy.

The NEW agreement has been RECOMMENDED by your fellow coworkers on the bargaining committee.

We anticipate voting ballots to be in member mailboxes at the end of next week.

We encourage every eligible member to participate in the ratification process and cast a vote. The members alone will decide the outcome. Ballots must be returned to Local 881 Office by Noon on October 20, 2022. Only the ballots returned by the deadline can be counted.

What happens if you don’t vote?

There are many false rumors that fly around the stores during negotiations. The most dangerous rumor is that not voting somehow counts as a yes vote. This is ludicrous. The reality is: Nothing happens if you DON’T vote. Only the ballots that are returned to the office will be counted. The only way for your vote to be counted is if you participate and return the ballot! If you want your voice to be heard, you must return your ballot to the Local 881 Office by noon on October 20th.

The Entire Contract is being voted on!

Although the document you review during ratification only includes the changes to the current contract, you are being asked to vote to accept or reject the ENTIRE CONTRACT! In addition to wages, there are numerous provisions and protections throughout your Union contract that impact your job. Things like Health Insurance Benefits (including the 1993 waiver), Minimum Hours, Disability Benefits, Premium Pay, Vacations/Holidays/Personal Holidays, and the Grievance Procedure. Each time we sit down at the table to negotiate the ENTIRE contract is always at risk! And we all know there are so many things the Company would love to get rid of or change.

Talk to your Rep with any concerns you have!

Emotions and expectations are running high because a lot is at stake. Don’t make up your mind before reading the NEW Tentative Agreement Offer carefully. Don’t base your vote on information that may be inaccurate. Ask your Union Representative to explain how the NEW Tentative Agreement will impact you.

Should you have any questions we continue to be at your service and invite you to contact your Union Representative at 847-294-5064 to discuss any concerns you have.

Back to the Bargaining Table

This week your Local 881 Negotiation Committee returns to the bargaining table to fight for improvements to the previous offer. Because there is a lot of misinformation being circulated in the stores and on social media, we would like to provide some KEY FACTS as negotiations move forward. Please keep the following in mind:

    • Negotiations are not being done behind closed doors. Instead,13 of your Jewel coworkers, who work side-by-side with you in the stores, are present and actively participating in the process. Local 881’s Negotiating Committee has many years of experience in dealing with the Company and are fighting on your behalf.
    • If an agreement can be reached, Local 881 members will be asked to review and vote again as quickly as possible. All offers will be presented to the membership for a vote, even if the Company chooses NOT to make significant improvements.
    • We all know there are MANY contract provisions the Company would like to get rid of, yet the agreement that was rejected had zero concessions. However, when we return to the table THE ENTIRE CONTRACT IS OPEN FOR NEGOTIATION. In addition to wages, your Health Insurance (including the 1993 waiver), Minimum Hours, Disability Benefits, Premium Pay, Vacations/Holidays/Personal Holidays, and the Grievance Procedure are all at stake.

During these challenging times we must remain united. Our only hope to winning a strong contract is to stand together. We will continue to update you with developments. We encourage you to talk with your Union Representative with any questions you have about the negotiations process.