Industry Contract Negotations - UPDATES

Members at Fry’s, Safeway and Smith’s vote to ratify new two-year contract

UFCW Local 99 members who work at Fry’s Food Stores, Safeway and Smith’s Food and Drug voted at meetings from Oct. 29 through Nov. 5 to ratify a new two-year contract that improves wages, protects pensions and maintains affordable access to health care.

The contract covers more than 14,500 workers in more than 200 stores throughout Arizona.

“We listened to your priorities when we negotiated this contract, and our success is due to your solidarity,” UFCW Local 99 President McLaughlin told members in briefings before they voted. 

Union and company negotiators reached the agreement two days before the previous contract was set to expire on Oct. 25.

Members at Fry's, Safeway and Smith's who work an average of just 20 hours a week will continue to be eligible for health benefits. And all employees at Fry's, Safeway and Smith's, who are at top pay or higher will receive 25 cents an hour increases now and a year from now. The new Agreement also establishes substantial increases in starting rates for newer employees.  Safeway employees will be getting credit on the new wage scale for hours already worked. As part of the settlement new Fry's and Smith's workers will always start out at least 20 cents over minimum wage.

The new contract brings department store clerks at Fry’s into the same category as grocery workers and gives them raises ranging up to almost $2 an hour.

(original proposals)

Support Your Union in Negotiating a Fair Contract;
Vote to Support the Advisory Committe's Recommendation to Authorize a Strike!

The supermarket companies have given us an offer we must refuse

The UFCW Local 99 negotiation advisory committee urges all members at Fry’s, Safeway and Smiths to vote to authorize the union to begin a labor action if that becomes necessary to achieve a fair and equitable contract.

Contract negotiations with the supermarket companies have been at a stand still since Aug. 18, when the employers made unacceptable proposals that include insulting wage increases and premiums that employees would have to pay for their health care.

After paying these premiums, our members would end up with less in their pockets than they had under the previous contract.

The employers have given us an offer that we can — and must — refuse!

The supermarket companies are profitable, largely because of sacrifices we made in the previous contract. Our members have worked for almost two years without a wage increase of any kind. Some of them have not had a wage increase in five years.

Our expectations and proposals are in line with wage and benefit improvements that have been negotiated and ratified in other parts of the country.

The members of UFCW Local 99 can meet this challenge only by speaking with a strong, firm and united voice. We must vote to authorize a strike if that becomes necessary!

Our stewards and union representatives have been briefed about the details of the strike-authorization vote, as well as the reasons why it is essential to stand behind your union at this crucial moment. They will be able to answer most of your questions. You can also stay informed by calling the Negotiations Hotlines, (800) 997-0099 or (602) 254-0099, ext. 620, or by reading the Negotiations Updates at

Now is the time to deliver a message of strength.


Cal Smit

CAL SMITH - Fry's 104

"If the company had its way, we would get stabbed in the back - no ifs, ands or buts about it. We've worked too hard in this industry to get nothing in return. We haven't had anything in eight years. We need something! The company has to give its employees something in return for all the work we do. It's clear to me the only way we're going to get that is to stand strong with our union."

Cynthia Del Sol


"This strike vote is about our future. It's about stability in our lives. We need our pensions, we need our health care and we need these jobs to be respectable jobs that people can have as careers. We need to send the employers a message. They want to tear us apart, but we're stronger than they think we are."

Gloria Jolivet


"We've waited long enough for a contract and we've waiting long enough without having a raise. Costs are going up everywhere and we're trying to get by. Now they want us to pay for our health care. The companies are making money and they're spending money left and right on improving the stores and installing self-scanning units, but they don't want to spend money on the people who keep the company going and bring the customers back to the store. Ridiculous!"

Brian Andrews


"The companies want to maximize the bottom line by minimizing our paychecks. Our employers should take a stake in the American people. You've got to take care of the American workers -- and that's us! We've got to send a message to the employers that we are serious about a fair and equitable contract!"

Yvonne Coleman


"Greed is wrong. Our company has been making record profits and this is the type of mentality they have? They want to take money out of our pockets? It's corporate greed, pure and simple. It's outrageous. We must send a message to our employers and stand strong with our sisters and brothers."

Press Release
Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:44pm EDT

Arizona Supermarket Workers Reject Company Proposals, Grant UFCW Local 99 Authority to Call a Strike

PHOENIX--(Business Wire)--At four meetings around Arizona, members of UFCW Local 99 voted in overwhelming numbers to give their union leaders authority to call a strike, should one become necessary, against the Fry`s and Safeway supermarket chains.

"Our number one priority is to negotiate a fair and equitable contract for our members, and we will leave no stone unturned in that endeavor," UFCW Local 99 President Jim McLaughlin said after the votes were counted. "This vote shows that the members are united in achieving our goals."

"The results expressed the members` emphatic rejection of recent contract proposals by the supermarket companies," he said. "Those proposals would have resulted in a loss of earnings for our members at a time when everyone is struggling just to get by."

McLaughlin declined to speculate on the likelihood of a labor dispute. "We are not revealing our strategies through the press," he said. "We have a number of resources at our disposal at this time and we intend to evaluate all of them."

November 5, 2009

It appears likely that we will be forced to call a strike against at least one of the supermarket chains in the near future.

After four straight days of meeting with employers, we have made no new progress toward a contract. Our Negotiating Committee has set a deadline of Friday, Nov. 13 at 6:00 p.m., for the employers to present an acceptable proposal.

We have been clear to the employers as to what an acceptable offer is. They know what it is, but they have refused to cooperate. Instead of providing the wages and health benefits our members deserve, the companies insist on taking money out of the workers’ pockets.

This is the point where we must draw the line. Our latest contract extension expired on Oct. 31 and we have no plans to extend it again. We will meet with our Negotiations Advisory Committee on Wednesday, Nov. 11, to train picket captains, assemble picket signs and make assignments. In the coming week, picket captains and union representatives will receive instructions on what will happen on a store-by-store basis.

We will alert you to developments as they happen. If and when a strike is called, you will receive specific instructions through your union reps and picket captains. In the meantime, please keep working at your job until a strike action is declared.

While we urge you not to say or do anything that is insubordinate to management, you are encouraged to state clearly your sympathies in support of your union. Let your co-workers and management know that you are on the side of your union sisters and brothers.

Solidarity is the key to our success. Your union stands strong and proud with you!

October 31, 2009

In our last Negotiations Update, we reported that the employers appear to have begun to understand our members’ expectations. This should in no way be interpreted that negotiations are going well or they have given us reason to be “upbeat,” as recently reported by the media.

We are hopeful that we can make progress IF the employers continue to hear us. As we have said before, the employers need to understand that meaningful changes — not just in slight adjustments but also in substance — must be made before we can reach the fair and equitable contract our members deserve and will vote to ratify.

We will recommend a strike only as a last resort. However, if the employers leave us no other alternative, a strike is a possibility. Our members have voted in overwhelming numbers to give us that option if it becomes necessary.

We remind you to ignore rumors, including those you may read or hear about in the media. We do not negotiate your contract through the media. You can be sure that if there are any new developments, you will hear about them directly from your union.

Your union stands strong and proud with you. Stay united and we will prevail.

October 21, 2009

The companies say they have to cut costs in order to compete against discount retailers like Walmart. But they are going about it wrong.

Safeway, Fry’s and Smith’s are profitable companies. They have learned that the best way to compete with Walmart is to provide quality service to their customers. This is possible only when a company has a loyal, professional work force.

A company earns loyalty by paying respectable wages, providing affordable health care and maintaining a healthy pension fund. The current contract proposal from the supermarket companies fails in all of these requirements.

When these companies look for places to reduce costs, they shouldn’t force their workers to shoulder the burden.

We represent your interests at the bargaining table. With your help, we seek to attain a fair contract that respects the companies’ legitimate concerns while protecting your wages and benefits.

Additional dates have been scheduled for negotiations. Following those meetings, an update will be provided.

Stand strong and proud.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A little UFCW pin can accomplish big things!

Wear your pins at work as well as on the street. When a customer, friend or neighbor comments about them, use the occasion as an opportunity to share your thoughts about your union and the negotiating process.

This is especially important in the stores, where representatives of management are constantly monitoring the intensity of support for the Union. Their observations will go to corporate executives who determine the company’s strategy at the bargaining table.

When they see you and your co-workers wearing UFCW pins, they will understand that support for your union is strong. The stronger the support, the less likely it will be that the executives will hold on to the bad proposals they are trying to get you to accept.

You have the right to wear your UFCW pin. Use that right! It will promote Union solidarity and help us seek a fair and equitable contract. Stand strong and proud.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Union representatives and company representatives held a conference call today. Many issues were discussed. However, there are a number of issues that can only be addressed at the table. Additional dates have been set by the union and company to continue bargaining for a fair and equitable contract for our members.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It has always been the position of UFCW Local 99 that our members should never have to choose between paying for family health care and paying for food or rent.

The recent proposals from the supermarket companies – proposals that have been rejected soundly by our members – included a requirement that workers pay regular out-of-pocket premiums for their health care. This would be in addition to any deductibles and co-payments that already come from our members’ pockets.

The employers insist that these premiums wouldn’t be too much to pay for health care, but we know differently. While those premiums may not seem like a lot to a multimillion-dollar company, they mean plenty to working people who are already have a tough time making ends meet.

Members, single parents, have stated point blank that if they have to pay these premiums for their families, they will go broke. That is neither fair nor equitable.

Besides, if these premiums amounts are so small, why are the companies so keen on pushing them into the contract? The answer is that these premiums would add up to a lot of money over time and the companies know it.

We are urging the companies to reevaluate their health care offer and remove these health care premiums from the table. We will continue to work toward reaching an agreement that makes sense for the members and the employers.

We will keep you informed of development as they happen.

Stand strong and proud with your union.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Local 99 - over the weekend – secured an extension agreement with Fry’s, Smith’s and Safeway. These extension agreements will expire on October 31 at midnight.

Your overwhelming expressions of solidarity at union meetings across Arizona are providing ample evidence that the employers’ attempts to drive a wedge between you and your union are not working.

Now that the employers are aware of the members’ strong rejection of their recent contract proposals, their wisest course would be to stop trying to propagandize the workers and work with us on crafting an acceptable agreement.

UFCW Local 99 and the employers have important work to do on a number of important issues that affect thousands of union members. These members are counting on us to resolve those issues quickly at the bargaining table.

From the time our negotiations began more than 12 months ago, our goal has been to reach a fair and equitable agreement that you will be proud to ratify. Thank you for standing strong and proud with your union.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The most recent extension of our contract with supermarket employers expires today, but there is no cause for alarm.

For the time being, noting will change for you at work. You will continue to work as if an extension is in effect.

Neither the employers nor the Union wish to initiate a labor dispute at this time. Both sides are interested in continuing negotiations. However, we insist on a fair and equitable resolutions of our differences, especially those that concern wages and health care. To achieve our goals, we will need to keep all of our options open.

If your managers ask what you think of negotiations, answer with pride that you support your union 100 percent. Stay informed and prepared to talk about the bargaining process with your customers (but don’t stop working to do it).

We will keep you informed of developments.

Your union stands strong and proud with you. Thank you.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

These are tense times as your union presses its case against the supermarket employers’ insulting contract proposals.

In private and public communications with the employers, we have made it clear that the members of UFCW Local 99 demand respect and dignity. We will not accept proposals that fail to reward your hard work with the wages and benefits you deserve.

The companies are profitable in large part because of your hard work and sacrifice. They should share some of the success that you made possible.

Your union stands strong and proud with you. Thank you for standing strong and proud with your union.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Last week, members of Local 99 turned out in record numbers to give their union leadership the authority to call a strike, should one become necessary, against Fry’s and Safeway.

Your demonstration of solidarity sends a powerful message of strength to the employers.

Your union leadership will explore every option to obtain a fair and equitable contract for the members. We will continue our diligent work at the bargaining table to reach that contract.

The current contract extension expires this week. With or without another extension, our members will continue to work past that expiration date.

The community strongly supports our union’s efforts to obtain a fair wage increase and to maintain current standards of health insurance. We expect that support to grow even stronger over time.

Thank you for standing strong and united.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Local 99 met with Fry’s and Safeway today September 24th, 2009 to discuss negotiations. There was nothing resolved and no progress was made. The employers continue to demand health and welfare premiums.

Local 99 has set October 8th as a date for a conference call.

We will be scheduling additional strike votes throughout the State in the coming weeks. It is still our goal to reach a settlement without a labor dispute.

Local 99’s goal in these negotiations is to find a “fair and equitable” settlement that doesn’t burden our members with health care premiums and inadequate wages.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Local 99 negotiators are preparing to return to bargaining on the 24th of this month to continue negotiations with the employers regarding economic issues. The proposal that Local 99 presented to the employers last month was a reasonable proposal with modest wage increases and reductions in pension. The proposal also maintained health care so that all of our members had access to good healthcare for themselves and their family.

The employers proposal was filled with take aways and reductions for current and future employees. The employers proposal was un-acceptable.

A meeting is scheduled for next week with the UFCW Local 99 Advisory committee and a strategy will be developed with the committee in the hopes of bringing negotiations to a “fair and equitable” settlement.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Over the last few weeks the Local 99 bargaining committee has continued to review the employers’ proposal and to meet with members individually and at the advisory meetings. The overwhelming reaction from everyone is that the employers’ proposal is unacceptable.

The concessions that the employers have proposed will reach right into your pocket and take your hard-earned dollars. The employers must be confronted – face to face by the members – before they will understand how serious we are about the adverse effects of their proposal.

Local 99 bargaining committee thanks the members for their unwavering support of the Union and your co-workers in these negotiations and for those of you who have already spoken out in your store to management and in meetings with high-level company officials.

We have been meeting with leaders from our international union over the last few weeks and plan to come back and meet with our advisory committee before we return to the bargaining table at the end of the month.

Now is the time for unity, now is the time for Solidarity. Keep informed and stay strong.

For nearly a year, our Union has been negotiating with Fry’s, Safeway and Smiths for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. While the previous contract expired last October, our members have been working under a series of extensions that maintain all of the old terms and conditions. The current extension expires on Oct. 2.

Last July, our Union and the employers completed discussions on the so-called non-economic issues. These talks were held up by a number of proposals from Safeway that ultimately would have gutted many of the seniority provisions of the contract. We had resolved many of the non-economic issues with Fry’s quite a while back. Once we were able to settle those issues with Safeway, we moved to discuss the important economic issues — wages, pensions and health and welfare.

In the second week of August we met with Fry’s, Smiths and Safeway and presented our proposal to them. It is a reasonable proposal with modest wage increases. It also increases employer funding for pensions and the Health and Welfare Fund.

The proposed increase in pension funding and some pension reductions are legally required to address the underfunding that has resulted from investment losses. Our proposed increase in employer contributions to the health and welfare fund is minimal and will allow for maintaining the current benefits of the plan.

The employers provided the Union with their proposal, which came in the form of talking points but had some specific offerings for wage increases and funding for health and welfare and pension.

The employers’ wage offering was two 25-cent raises one in October 2010 and another in October 2011. Many of our members would likely not receive either of these.

The pension offering also comes up short. The employers’ proposal would result in greater cuts in pensions than the union has proposed, including possible elimination of the Golden 85.

The employers also propose that the workers pay a co-premium for their health insurance. While the proposal on the surface seems modest — $5, $10 and $15 — the net result is a cut in pay for our members. Our members who provide insurance for their families would see a net loss in pay of $60 per month or $780 per year.

These companies are some of the most profitable in the country. With billions of dollars in sales, they don’t need to reach into our members’ pockets to remain competitive. Our members need the money they earn — especially now!

In addition to these cuts for current employees, the employers have given us a pay scale for new hires that would start them at minimum wage and in many cases keep them there for a year or more. And these employees would need to work 10,400 hours — almost 10 years — to get to the top rate. This is outrageous!

We will keep meeting with the employers to try to get them to understand that we cannot, we WILL not, accept these terms. We insist that they return to the bargaining table and get serious about negotiating a fair and equitable contract. We will accept nothing less.

You can help by staying strong and united. Tell everyone you know, especially your store managers, that you support your union 100 percent.

You can continue to get the facts, and you can view all of the proposals and talking points, on on this web site.

Remember to STAY UNITED! Thank you.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Union negotiators met with Kroger and Safeway this week to focus on economic issues. Local 99 presented a comprehensive and modest proposal that included wage increases in 2009, 2010 and 2011 AND a bonus retroactive to the expiration date of the current contract. In addition, the Union proposed a wage progression that addresses the effects of the minimum wage increases. We also proposed changing the eligibility requirements for holiday pay and health insurance to lessen the waiting period.

Fry’s, Smith’s and Safeway proposed a wage increase of 25 cents in 2010 and 25 cents in 2011. This proposal means that members would get a 25 cents an hour increase in 8 years. Totally unacceptable. The Employers went on to propose premiums for health insurance of up to $60 per month for full family coverage and an increase of 30 cents in pension contributions that does not fix or address the problems faced by the pension plan. Their proposed wage progression would start at minimum wage and take 10,400 hours to reach top rate. So if you work part-time (20 hours a week), you would reach top pay in 10 - yes - 10 years.

Needless to say, we are extremely disappointed with the proposal presented by the Employers.

Obviously, we are an ocean apart in our proposals and from the settlement that Local 99 members deserve.

We return to negotiations next week and have additional sessions scheduled into September.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Negotiations with the employers will resume next week. These negotiations will be the first time in several months that all of the bargainers for the companies will be in the same session with the Union negotiators at the same time.

Negotiations with Kroger had been stalled for months as a result of many outstanding non-economic issues that took some time to resolve with Safeway. Last month most of the non-economic issues had been resolved and we began setting up new dates with all of the employers.

We will be meeting on the 12th, 18th and then several more dates through September.

We are hopeful that progress can be made and we will make every effort to bring forward a fair and equitable contract for all of our members.

The current contract is extended through October 2nd, 2009.

The most important thing our members can do during this critical time in our negotiations is to stay strong, stay united and stay informed. Solidarity!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fry's, Smith's, and Safeway companies have signed extension agreements for the currrent collective bargaining agreement. These extensions will expire on October 3. Negotiation sessions have been scheduled for August and September at which time the economic issues - wages, health and welfare, and pension will be addressed.

Solidarity works. Stay strong

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The UFCW Bargaining Committee met with Safeway today to discuss many of the outstanding issues.

We are please to announce that we have finally reached agreement on the important non-economic issues such as scheduling and seniority. As you know, those non-economic issues were delaying negotiations on economic issues.

We will now schedule meetings soon with Fry's, Smith's and Safeway to begin the important economic issues such as wages, pension, and health care.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this process.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

We met with Safeway today to discuss the many non-economic issues that are still being dealt with in negotiations. We had discussions with Safeway on many difficult non-economic issues. We were hopeful that we might get some issues resolved. We have another meeting with Safeway next week. If we can complete the non-economic discussions next week we will be able to move on to the other important economic issues.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Local 99 Negotiators resume discussions this week with Safeway.

While negotiations have been ongoing since September of 2008, a number of non-economic issues with the Safeway Company have not been resolved. Those non-economic issues include seniority and scheduling that the employer has proposed to eliminate. Without these provisions in the contract, seniority will no longer be the protection to allow our members to enjoy enough hours to provide for their family and their future.

Our bargaining with Fry’s/Smiths over the non-economic issues has been concluded for many months now.

Local 99 negotiators are hoping to resolve the pending issues with Safeway so we can move on to the many important economic issues like healthcare, wages and pension. The Desert States Pension fund has been certified red.
Because Safeway and Fry’s are bargaining partners on the economic issues they will only bargain over the important economics together.

We have 2 bargaining sessions scheduled with Safeway including July 1st and the 9th.

We are under extension until the 18th of July.

Monday, June 1, 2009

We have signed an extension of the current UFCW Local 99 Collective Bargaining Agreement with Frys, Smiths, and Safeway. This extension will expire on July 18, 2009.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Our current extension is in place through the 30th of May. We have no new dates to meet with the employers but are currently looking for additional dates for bargaining. The employer representatives are currently bargaining in the Denver, Local 7 negotiations.

As additional information becomes available we will update this site

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this document. If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can download it free by clicking here adobe link

Monday, March 30, 2009

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work toward a fair and equitable contract for all Fry’s Safeway and Smith’s employees working under the UFCW Local 99 Collective Bargaining Agreements.

An extension of the present contract has been signed by Fry’s, Smith’s and Safeway which carries us through May 30.

While negotiations continue at a very slow pace, we cannot forget the accomplishments that we have: Tentative agreements have been made with Fry’s and Smith’s on a number of non-economic issues.  These include Meat Cutter protections, more full-time employees, making improvements on scheduling, a cutting edge grievance procedure and many other benefits for the employees that care for customers at Kroger owned stores.

We have not made as much progress as we had hoped with Safeway, especially on the non-economic issues.  In particular, Safeway continues to propose language that would take away scheduling rights by seniority for a majority of its employees.

From the beginning, our plan has been to negotiate with the companies to settle the important non-economic issues first and then move to the economic issues:  pensions, health and welfare, wages.  This is our strategy because we know that it is extremely difficult to negotiate over non-issues once you start negotiating over wages, pension, health insurance. 
Although the non-economic settlements with Safeway are taking a long time, we know that this plan is our only option to achieve the best possible settlement.

We are still meeting with the employers and will schedule additional dates for negotiations in the near future.
In the meantime, your Local will keep you posted of any changes and will continue to update our web site and hotline as information becomes available.

Thank you for your dedication, commitment and support throughout these negotiations.

Stay strong!  Stay united!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The parties will return to negotiations next week where we have 2 days scheduled with the industry to presumably return to discussions of economics. There are still a number of outstanding non-economic issues that need to be addressed. We also may have two days at the end of this upcoming bargaining session to continue discussions with Fry’s on issues that are specific to our Fry’s members.

I am sure that all of our members are aware of the decision by Fry’s to make changes with many management employees at its Arizona stores. We were contacted by Fry’s management on Thursday to inform us of the decision and to assure us that no bargaining unit employees were going to be affected. We will continue to monitor that situation as well as prepare for our upcoming dates for negotiations. Following next week’s bargaining, we have additional dates scheduled through the end of March.

Please remember to remain vigilant in our fight for a new agreement to improve the lives of our members and retail food workers throughout Arizona.

Thank you.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bargaining continues with Fry’s, Smith’s and Safeway.  We have met multiple times with the employers throughout February.  Over the last several months, we have been able to resolve many issues but we still have a number of important issues that need to be resolved.

As economic discussions have begun, we have been focusing on pension and health & welfare issues that may affect future benefits.  We must take this opportunity to carefully review issues that affect your future.  In addition, our plan professionals have been identifying areas which need careful review to assure the plan remains in compliance with all legal requirements.

Our negotiating team has several sessions scheduled through the end of March.  The team has been and will be making every effort to complete negotiations in March.

An extension of the current contract has been signed.  This extension expires on March 28.

As always, stay strong, stay informed and communicate information and rumors to your Union Rep.

During this last stretch it is critical to Stay United.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

UFCW Local 99 Retail Food Agreements Extended until February 28

UFCW Local 99 and Fry’s, Safeway, and Smith’s have agreed to extend the current Agreement through the end of February, 2009. The extension contains language that any increases negotiated will be retroactive to when the contract expired on October 25, 2008. During this extension period, all of the same terms of the contract are still in full force and effect.

Your Union and the Employers have met during December and January and more negotiations are scheduled throughout February with all the Employers. Much of the last month and a half has been spent negotiating individually with each Employer, trying to resolve non-economic issues, such as seniority rights and grievance procedure.

But the Union and the Employers will soon begin negotiations on economic issues such as wages, health benefits and pension. Pension, in particular, has been a difficult issue with the economy and the stock market in sharp decline.

During these negotiations, in the middle of the worst economic downturn in over 70 years, it is crucial that our members refuse to listen or spread rumors. For accurate information, please speak with your Union Representative, visit the Union’s web site or call the Negotiations Hotline.

Throughout these negotiations, we all need to stand together. Management keeps an open ear as to the mood in the stores. The more we can demonstrate our resolve, strength, and unity, the better the contract we can negotiate.

Show your support of your Union. Wear your Union pin. Sign up any non-members. By standing as one, we can achieve a fair and equitable agreement.

Agreements Between UFCW Local 99 and Fry’s Already Benefiting Members

Talks between UFCW Local 99 and Fry’s have already resulted in improvements for Fry’s employees.  In issues raised by the Union and in issues raised by employees in meetings with Fry’s president, certain agreements have already been put in place.

A long standing issue has been the lack of full-time positions and 8 hour shifts.  Not only have the Union and Fry’s tentatively agreed to language regarding full-time that will be part of a new Agreement when negotiations are completed and ratified, but Fry’s has already begun adding substantially more 8 hour shifts on the schedule.

Another area where UFCW Local 99 and Fry’s have agreed to tentative language and Fry’s has already implemented involves maintaining one’s hire date for wage and benefit provisions when transferring from another Kroger (such as Ralph’s or King Supers) company to Fry’s. A number of employees are now enjoying the improvements this language provides for.

Lastly, the Union and Fry’s have held discussions and the Company has now implemented language allowing certain employees to take one week’s vacation one day at a time.

These changes are designed to improve the lives of our members and the Union will continue to work with Fry’s to identify issues that are important to our members and to make improvements in your working conditions.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

This week we met with Safeway and made some progress on the non-economic proposals. We have made some movement on both the company and Union proposals. Additional meetings are scheduled for next week to discuss critical topics with Safeway.

Fry’s negotiations are status quo after meetings last month on scheduling. We are currently working to set meeting dates for February to meet with Fry’s, Smith’s, and Safeway to resume discussions on economic issues.

Thank you and remember loose lips sink ships.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As we start the new year, negotiation meetings will be increasing.

The Union last met with Fry's on December 16th to further discuss non-economic issues. When non-economic issues are separately resolved with the Employers, then Safeway, Fry's, and Smith's will bargain jointly with the Union over economics which includes wages, health insurance and pension.

The Union has signed an extension with Safeway, Fry's and Smith's which allows either side to give a 7 day notice to end the extension. This extension expires on January 31, 2009. It is possible that if no Agreement is reached by January 31st, a new extension could be negotiated.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Union met with Fry’s on December 16 to further discuss non-economic issues.  Meetings have been set up with Safeway for early January to continue negotiations over non-economic issues there.  When non-economic issues are separately resolved with the Employers, then Safeway and Fry’s (and Smith’s) will bargain jointly with the Union over economics which includes wages, health insurance and pension. The Union has signed an extension with Safeway, Fry’s and Smiths which allows either side to give a 7 day notice to end the extension. This extension expires on January 31, 2009. It is possible that if no Agreement is reached by January 31, a new extension could be negotiated.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This week we have finalized an extension of our current agreement. Our contract expired on October 25th, and an extension until November 30th was set to expire this weekend. Our new extension will take us through December 15th and then day to day thereafter with 7 days notice to terminate the agreement. This extension will expire on January 30th 2009.

We have meetings scheduled with both companies into January including a sub-committee meeting to discuss scheduling issues with Fry’s.

While this extension is in effect it is the hope of the bargaining parties that we will be able to find common ground on many of the outstanding/ un-resolved issues that are pending. We are also hopeful that the US Congress makes some progress on the Pension Protection Act and many of the issues that complicate our bargaining as a result of that law.
We will continue to bring updates to you as events change. Please check back often and remember, Solidarity is key to our ability to reach a fair and equitable settlement to these negotiations.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and the holiday season while your bargaining committee is working to bring a settlement…….

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Over the past several months the union and the employers have been meeting on a variety of topics in an effort to negotiate a new contract for more than 20,000 retail food workers in Arizona.

We’ve made some progress with Fry’s on non-economic issues and we hope to make progress with Safeway soon.

In regard to health and welfare issues, we made our position clear regarding employee premiums.

Pension issues are complicated by the current decline in the stock market. Our fund is similar to many other pension funds, both in our country and around the world, whose values have declined as a result of the severe drop in the market.

In 2006, Congress passed legislation called the Pension Protection Act (PPA). Our pension plan trustees have asked the UFCW International Union to ask Congress to consider a “temporary suspension” of the PPA so we can manage the pension fund ourselves to ensure its continued strength and viability.

We are looking at the pension carefully and want to assure our members that their pensions are and will remain SAFE.

Because these issues will take longer to resolve, we will need more time to meet with the employers to negotiate a fair and equitable contract.

We are proud of the solidarity of Local 99 members at Advisory Committee meetings and in the stores. It’s important for the employers to understand that we are united. The more we can demonstrate our resolve, strength and unity, the better a contract we can negotiate.

Show your support of the union at every opportunity. By standing strong, we can achieve a contract that will make us all proud. Also, please refuse to listen to rumors or spread them. For accurate information, please speak with your union representative or visit the union website,

Thank you for your support. Our strength in these negotiations is our solidarity and your solidarity will ensure our success.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Today we met with Fry’s to discuss several issues.  We have reached a tentative agreement on a couple of ‘non-economic” issues that will help.  We will resume bargaining with Fry’s the week of November 10.  We seem to be making steady progress with Fry’s in an effort to reach a fair and equitable settlement.

We will also resume negotiations with Safeway.  We hope to begin making progress with Safeway.  As of now, we have made little progress with the company.

Next week, November 4 is Election Day.  Please make sure you vote.  We have many important issues that we are deciding in this election.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This week we meet with Fry’s and Smith’s for negotiations.

We have agreed to an extension of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement with all three employers that includes wages retroactive to the expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

While we still have an enormous amount of work to do in these negotiations and a considerable amount of work in the non-economic issues such as seniority, scheduling, grievance procedure, we have not even been able to begin any real in depth discussions about the important economics (wage, healthcare, pension) of the contract.

We have many dates for negotiations through mid November and will continue to update you as negotiations proceed.

Stay strong, Stay solid - Solidarity first.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Local 99 negotiators met with Company negotiators last week.  On Monday, we met with Fry’s, Safeway, and Smith in a joint meeting to discuss issues confronting us with regard to the health and welfare and our Pensions.  Our benefit professionals will meet with their counterparts from the employers over the next two weeks - so that we may get into specific discussions about benefits at our next joint meeting.

Tuesday, we met with Safeway to give our proposal to the company and to receive theirs.  We had explained to the company that we intended to build on the contract that we bargained 4 years ago to make improvements in the lives of our members.  While we are still reviewing the company’s proposal (which deals with issues other than health & welfare, pension and pay rates) upon first review it contains a number of take-aways that are important and are needed by our members.  We will continue to review the proposal and make counter proposals at our next meeting with Safeway on October 9.

Friday, Union negotiators met with Fry’s and Smith’s negotiators to exchange proposals.  We will get back together with Fry’s, Smith’s and Safeway  negotiators the week of October 6 for 4 bargaining sessions - one for Safeway, one for Kroger and two sessions to discuss the joint proposals received from the companies this past Monday.

An Advisory Committee meeting for Southeastern AZ members will be held in Sierra Vista on October 2.  In addition, President McLaughlin will meet with members of the Advisory Committee in the Show Low, Lakeside-Pinetop, and Springerville area.  The meeting will be October 2 in Show Low.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Yesterday, Union negotiators met with Fry’s and Smith’s negotiators to exchange proposals.  We will get back together with Fry’s, Smith’s and Safeway  negotiators the week of October 6 for 4 bargaining sessions - one for Safeway, one for Kroger and two sessions to discuss the joint proposals received from the companies this past Monday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Local 99 negotiators met with Company negotiators this week.  Monday, we met with Fry’s, Safeway, and Smith's in a joint meeting to discuss issues confronting us with regards to the Health and Welfare and our Pensions.  Our benefit professionals will meet with their counterparts from the employers over the next two weeks so that we may get into specific discussions about benefits at our next joint meeting.

Tuesday, we met with Safeway to give our proposal to the company and to receive theirs.  We had explained to the company that we intended to build on the contract that we bargained four years ago to make improvements in the lives of our members.  While we are still reviewing the company’s proposal (which deals with issues other than Health & Welfare, Pension and pay rates) upon first review it contains a number of take-aways that are important and are needed by our members.  We will continue to review the proposal and make counter proposals at our next meeting with Safeway on October 9.

The first meeting with representatives from Fry’s and Smith’s will be held later this week.

View Previous Contract Proposals:
Contract proposal from Safeway Inc. to the Union You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view documents attached to this page. If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can download it free by clicking here adobe link
Contract proposal from the Union to Fry's, Safeway and Smith's
(dated 9/23/08)
Contract proposal from the Union to Fry's and Smith's (dated 9/25/08)
Contract proposal from the Union to Safeway (dated 9/23/08)
Fry's Proposal to UFCW  
Extension Agreement Fry's
Extension Agreement Safeway