Next year each of the three big supermarket chains will be up for contract negotiations in New Mexico and in neighboring Colorado, Nevada, and Southern California. Having all these contracts expire around the same time is good for the workers. Only Union members get to participate in contract negotiations also called Collective Bargaining. This process allows the workers to seek and make changes to their employment. In the non-union environment negotiations do not exist because the Company can just change anything they desire at anytime. Only Union members have the privilege to negotiate. This is something your Union takes very seriously.
In New Mexico, Smith’s / Kroger will expire first on January 30, 2022, Albertson’s / United will expire next on June 11, 2022, and then Safeway will expire on November 3, 2022. This is both an opportunity and a challenge to you and your family. As Kroger has just finished its biggest year of all time with the additional sales COVID-19 brought, their CEO Rodney McMullen received a 45% increase in his salary with a $22.4 million dollar bonus. Most of us remember that the workers $2-hour hazard pay was removed after three short months in 2020 and replaced with less expensive gifts.
Our sister local in Colorado has their King Soopers / Kroger and their Albertson’s contracts expire on or around January 8, 2022. That is a full three weeks prior to the New Mexico contracts expiring with Smith’s / Kroger. Colorado and New Mexico share the same struggles. This is a great year for coordinated bargaining since both areas deal with the same executives during negotiations. Colorado will receive more attention since their 13,000 workers and contracts expire first. I will be heavily involved in Colorado bargaining, as together we have many more options to protect and advance our member’s concerns.
New Mexico and Colorado are both facing large productive supermarket chains who give a small budget for their workers. Kroger’s bargaining stye usually begins with reductions in the workplace for the employees. They should treat you as the essential workers you have proven you are. The customers acknowledged how essential you were, and we will not let them forget all that you worked through last year to help the, while others collected unemployment checks. Essential workers need better pay and benefits.
Please take a few minutes and fill out the Contract Survey / Questionnaire so we know exactly what is important to you and your family. You can scan the QR code box in this newsletter with your photo app on your mobile phone, it will only take about 5 – 10 minutes. You can also enter the web address/link into your home computer and submit the survey from there. The answers and comments you provide are very important. Your answers will be kept private and not shared.
Please consider how you can be a part of negotiations. We will need a number of New Mexico members who are willing to take pictures and share their stories of how they worked through the COVID scare, and how they deserve to be taken care of. Your Union wants good faith bargaining, we want workers working, but we also want workplace improvements and wage increases. More for Kroger, Albertson’s and Safeway should mean more for YOU!
Your Union has been preparing for 2022 contract negotiations since the last contract was ratified in Jan 2019. We really need to hear from you to make sure we understand what you need and how important it is and if you feel Kroger is taking care of you. Please spend a few minutes to reply with your answers. Your answers will be kept private, and you can let us know if we can count on you. Scan the QR code below or click on this link to take the survey now!