New Mexico Smith’s and Albertson’s workers get the changes they deserve!
The mood was set by the Pandemic and the hard work of Grocery workers. The timing was perfect for Smith’s, John Brooks, and Albertson’s workers to be negotiating a new contract this year. Several things added to the perfect storm such as a ten-day strike in Denver against Kroger, just three weeks before the New Mexico agreements would expire.
New Mexico began working and coordinating with Colorado about six months before Colorado began negotiations with King Soopers. President Greg Frazier attended Denver Kroger negotiations and the two sides shared much of the same goals and projected outcome. Both were also helped with the soured conditions with Kroger in the Houston and Little Rock areas as they were ready to fight back. Also, coming into the picture was a quick approaching of large California and Seattle areas, who also shared the same frustration and badly needed improvements. The work and media exposure were so helpful in reminding and exposing the compassion of customers, who remain supportive and appreciative of the Grocery worker for helping them through the pandemic over the last two years.
Ultimately, it was you, the Negotiating Committee and workers at the store standing united and demanding more that led to the results in the Smith’s contracts, followed by Albertson’s, and then leading over to the John Brooks contracts.
All three employers were forced to provide a new benefit level starting on July 1, 2022 for Sick Pay. The Companies wanted sick days to come from your personal holidays and vacation bank, but the new benefit will stand alone, so employees kept their holiday and vacation days for their own enjoyment. Wages were a huge piece as well with many of these members seeing $3 to $4 per hour over the next twenty-four months in addition to the new sick leave benefit. Albertsons was in line with getting money into the workers’ hands as quickly as possible, where Smith’s Kroger pushed the process as far as a scheduled Unfair Labor Practice Strike before the all-night winter storm blew the ice in and made leaving not much of an option. Both sides were forced to stay and work it out, and we did just a few days before the ULP Strike Vote. We had not announced the ULP strike but the ULP strike vote was going to take place during Super Bowl week. Looking ahead the wages that were reached are due and payable, regardless of prosperity or regression. Special thanks to the Negotiating Committee and all workers for standing tall and not being frightened.
Sick Pay| Healthy Workplaces Act | Highlights
·Effective July 1, 2022, your Employer is required to provide their employees with paid Sick Leave.
·Qualified Use Employees can begin to use accrued sick leave immediately after accrual for qualified purposes:
Tips to remember-
President's Message Archives+August 2021 - Contract Negotiations
+March 2021 Bargaining Update
+October 2020 Corporate Greed and Profits Before Essential Grocery Workers Needs
+Feb 2020 - Union Shop Stewards sharpen skills on supporting members!