Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
Many of you by now have heard that our Sister Local 342 (meat cutters) in New York went on strike today. This was an act of solidarity on our behalf, which we all most appreciate and recognize. It is important to keep in mind that Local 342 has been working under an expired contract since October 2017. That Union has filed numerous “Unfair Labor Practice Charges” against your Employer during bargaining. Their action, while it may be brief, will send a strong message to your Company to finally start bargaining with us in a meaningful manner. Your Company has been dug in against any form of respectful offerings which we believe you are entitled. We are NOT interested in allowing your Employer, in their desire, to destroy all our Health & Welfare and Pension plans. They envision the future to have the Union Plans resemble their Corporate plans. Additionally, their proposal calls for the elimination of all Sunday Premium Pay!
We have had only one brief session regarding wages and can tell you that the concept of bonuses will be on the table as your Employer believes you are not worthy of your income being increased. We strongly disagree!
The Company has demonstrated an enormous display of greed! While you all have contributed to their enormous success over the years, it simply does not matter to them. Their blatant disregard for your ability to service your customers properly continues to frustrate us all. We pound that fact into them at these sessions. Your Employer continually restricts hours and at the same time, implements more automation while your customers are being driven away. Is there any doubt that volume sales are lower?
This has been a grueling time at the bargaining table. The Five Local Union Coalition is not only together, but we have been assisted by the International Union every step of the way.
It is our intention to stay bargaining while you continue to work. A decision will be forthcoming as to when we will meet with the General Membership. We are hopeful that between now and that time, the proposals will improve. If not, we will Reject their proposal and take a “Strike Vote” Authorization. The authorization to strike is only that. Bargaining can resume with the hope that a strike does not have to actually take place. Please stay calm. Please continue to trust in your Local Union Leadership and together we will prevail.
Remember, our unity is our strength and our strength is our unity.
Sincerely and fraternally yours,
UFCW Local 328