Local 880 is committed to bringing the benefits of union membership to as many workers as possible. This is organizing as it is traditionally understood. We dedicate a portion of our resources to bringing the protections and benefits of a union contract to new members. There are several reasons for this, and we hope these reasons will motivate you to lend a hand in this difficult but satisfying task.
One of the main reasons we work so hard at organizing is because the old saying “there is strength in numbers” is absolutely true. If one employee walks in and asks for a raise, it is easy for the boss to say no. If all of the employees walk in and ask for a raise, that is an entirely different dynamic. Our size gives us the power we need to aggressively represent you in the workplace and in the community, whether you work for the largest or the smallest employer.
When a high percentage of workers in an industry belong to a union, then the union has more leverage at the bargaining table and can ask for a greater share of the profits. As a rising tide lifts all boats, it is easier to increase worker wages and benefits if all employers have essentially the same labor costs. When a sizeable number of employers in an industry are non-union and pay lower wages and benefits, they enjoy a labor cost advantage that can drag down union wages and benefits. Organizing helps protect and preserve your wages and benefits. Non-union stores place them at risk.
We at Local 880 also organize in a non-traditional way. We organize by educating the general public to be knowledgeable consumers who recognize and understand that our communities need good jobs and good wages in order to grow and thrive. We encourage the public to avoid low wage and benefit employers who shift health care costs for their employees onto the taxpay-ers, who pay low wages, who provide skinny benefits, and who drag down the standard of living for all employees in an industry and in a community.
No one can tell the story about why it pays to organize better than the members of Local 880 who reap the rewards of membership. No one can educate the public better than a union member who sees first-hand the harm that non-union employers do to the American standard of living. No one can set a better example than you by refusing to shop in non-union stores wherever and whenever possible, and by encouraging your family and friends to do the same.
To learn even more about how you can help Local 880 to organize, contact your Steward or your Union Representative.
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING 101
2017 and 2018 are years of significant contract negotiations for the collective bargaining agreements for UFCW Local 880’s clerks and meat cutters with Giant Eagle, Heinen’s, Fishers, Rite Aid, and ACME. Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes?
A contract and collective bargaining agreement is essentially the same thing and the terms often used interchangeably. Both are the written agreement between UFCW Local 880, acting as bargaining agent for members, and an employer. It traditionally covers wages, hours, working conditions, fringe benefits, rights of workers and the union, and procedures to be followed in settling disputes and grievances.
There are many layers in the collective bargaining process that start the day after a new contract is ratified. Yes, the day after members’ vote to accept the new agreement. It’s our responsibility to make sure that new federal, state and local legislation and court decision language is current in the agreements. We regularly review changes in pay and benefits across other industries and unions to ensure our members’ are at least comparable. For these reasons we keep our bargaining agreements to three years in most cases. Many things change in that time period and we prefer to address them sooner, not later.
Local 880 does keep an eye on grievances filed against employers. That’s a good way to identify the new circumstances that will be addressed in the next negotiations. Just like in your personal life, conditions continue to change in how business is conducted.
About three months before your contract expires, Local 880 mails an anonymous survey to your home. This is another way we determine what is important to you in the contract with your employer. Please participate and let your voice be heard. Don’t let a small group of responders determine your working conditions and income.
When Carl Ivka, Local 880 President, and his team meet with the employer, they usually don’t discuss a specific contract on day one, even though they have a draft ready. Subsequent days are when specifics are laid out for discussion. Once Local 880 and the employer come to an agreement, the specific members vote on the contract usually within a month. Then, the whole process starts over for next time.
What do we need from you, besides that vote to ratify the new contract? Watch your mail for the survey, and take it and send it back the same day, if you can. Research shows the longer you wait, the more likely you are to forget about it. Then, keep an eye on our website, ufcwlocal880.org, for updates regarding negotiations.
Let your voice be heard through UFCW Local 880. It’s the voice of working Americans like you.