Local 99 members in Arizona vote to ratify strong new contract with Fry’s, Safeway and Smith’s chains
Members of UFCW Local 99 employed at the Fry’s, Safeway and Smith’s supermarket chains in Arizona voted in overwhelming numbers to ratify new collective bargaining agreements that raise wages, provide a bonus at ratification, strengthen health benefits and sick pay, and improve vacations and holidays.
The union’s negotiators were able to defeat several proposals by the employers that would have gutted the members’ health benefits and caused wages for experienced workers to stagnate, Local 99 President Jim McLaughlin said.
To protect the members’ health during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ratification vote took place online over a 58-hour period that ended on Thursday, Jan. 28. The Advisory Committee members were briefed on the agreement at a Telephonic Town Hall on Jan. 25. All bargaining unit union members were provided online access to the terms of the proposed contract when voting went live on the 25th.
“You did a fantastic job and this is a contract to be proud of,” McLaughlin told the members. “The increases in this contract are unheard of. No increases in health care premiums is unheard of. We have vacation improvements.
“All these things and more are representative of the good work our members are doing. Thank you for remaining strong and united throughout this challenging negotiation process.”