As an employee of the Port Townsend Safeway, Sherri Howard wants folks to know that minimum-wage jobs are not just for kids. One aspect of her Safeway job that she appreciates, as the granddaughter of a union leader, is that she’s finally got a union job.Read More
Check Your Check
Liquor/Wine Manager Nora Bush from the Sequim Safeway noticed that her Sunday pay was incorrect on her paycheck. It was half the amount it should be on Sundays. She works every Sunday and realized this error dated back 14 months. With the help of her Rep, Nora took all her pay stubs to her store manager. The issue was sent to corporate and Nora received $1,200 in back pay.
Don’t Waive Your Breaks
If you waive your meal and rest breaks, employers will continue to under-staff and many times you are working without pay during that time. Hundreds of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett RNs filled out missed meals/break period forms and turned them into Labor and Industries. Working together collectively the Nurses at PRMCE tracked their missed breaks and are on their way to winning their case, getting reimbursed for the missed breaks and changing their workplace. Contact your union Rep if missed breaks is a problem in your workplace.
All Working Hours ARE Equal
Terri Gorman is currently working in the Deli department at the Bremerton Safeway. She has worked at her store for 9 years accumulating over 11,000 hours. Safeway kept her at $10/hr because they said she had been jumping departments, and her accumulated hours started over each time she changed departments. With the amount of hours she had worked in the store she should be at the Journey rate of pay. Terri went to her union Rep about the new language in the grocery contract that says all hours are equal. Thanks to the new contract and Terri knowing her rights she is now at $15/hr and received $2,500 in retro pay.
Bully Boss Exposed
At Planned Parenthood Contact Center in Tacoma, 20 members have been working for over a year in a hostile work environment due to a bully boss. When their numerous complaints were ignored, they took collective action. With the help of the union, they created a petition with a “Vote of No Confidence” and marched on their boss. Because of the collective action, their voices were heard and an investigation was launched. Management agreed to meet with members to discuss the findings of the investigation and solutions to the problem.
Standing Up for Disabilities
A Courtesy Clerk at the Issaquah Fred Meyer was approached by his manager, in front of customers, to talk about his job performance. He felt ambushed. With his mental disability, he needs support in confrontational situations. His co-worker confidant, was not working that day so he had to leave to seek support. Fred Meyer never called to see what happened, they just told him that he was terminated when he returned to work. When his Steward Mary Stoddard heard her co-worker got fired for an issue relating to his disability, she took action. Mary worked together with the union and got her co-worker his job back. Outstanding Stewards like Mary Stoddard let us know we are not alone in times of trouble.
Scott Eddy worked for The Markets and was laid off after the store closed. He remained unemployed for 22 months. When applying at Safeway, Scott informed them that he had been at Journey rate for The Markets. He was hired at Safeway starting at minimum wage. Our Skagit Grocery contract gives Safeway the option to bring in our members at 2 steps below Journey rate if they have been out of the unit for 0-2 years, but not at minimum wage. Because Scott knew his rights under the contract and informed the union we were able to correct Scott’s wages.
CONTRACT VOTES SET
Tentative Agreement Reached Fully Recommended by Union Member Bargaining Team
As you may know, a fully recommended tentative agreement was reached in negotiations on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. See the information below for times, dates, and locations for union members to review the tentative agreement, get questions answered, and vote. You may vote at whatever location is most convenient, at any time when polling is open at that location.
These votes are open to UFCW 21 grocery store workers in King, Snohomish, Kitsap, Mason and Thurston Counties at the big chains as well as the independent stores. This includes all workers at Safeway, Albertsons, QFC, and Fred Meyer (including CCK and General Merchandise), as well as workers at stores with an interim (or “me too”) agreement, such as Metropolitan Market, Town & Country and other independent stores.
You can come by at any point during the scheduled times and take as long as you like to review the contract offer and ask questions before casting your vote. You must be present at a vote and a current union member in order to cast a ballot.
Come by at any point between 8:00AM - 12 NOON and 4:00PM - 8:00PM at the following locations to review the offer, get questions answered, and cast your vote.
Sunday, April 24
Rooms: 404-406, 11100 NE 6th Street, Bellevue, WA 98004
Monday, April 25
Lynnwood Convention Center, Rooms 1DEF
3711 196th St SW, Lynnwood 98036
Tuesday, April 26
Emerald Ballroom, 17620 International Blvd., Seattle 98188
Wednesday, April 27
Kitsap Convention Center
Ballroom D, 100 Washington Ave, Bremerton 98337
Thursday, April 28
Best Western Executive Inn
Seafair Ballroom, 200 Taylor Ave N, Seattle 98109
Logan Room, 455 North Street SE, Tumwater 98501
One value of having a union at work is someone has your back. That’s part of what it means to be union – standing united to protect and support each other in times of need. Because we all deserve fair treatment and respect regardless of our age, income, gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion.
Our union has trained over 1,000 member leaders, your co-workers. These UFCW 21 leaders represent workplaces across the state to help make sure our rights are protected and workers aren’t bullied. The more workers stand together, the more our union will be a force for positive change that can push back against irresponsible and selfish corporations, CEOs, and politicians who use their huge wealth to influence policy.
Injustice, income inequality and racial inequities are still very much a part of daily life in America. While progress has been made, recent headlines show that injustices are still there. Women are paid far less per hour than men for doing the same work. That’s not right. People of color, especially African American youth, are disproportionately put in prison, victims of pollution, discrimination in hiring and police practices, and on and on. Just one example is from Flint, MI where people, disproportionately people of color, have been poisoned by drinking lead contaminated water. That’s not right. A front-runner for the President says that an entire group of people should be refused entry to the United States because of their religion. That’s not right.
Some Good News
The good news is that people are standing up and taking action. UFCW members in Flint are coming together to support their community and UFCW 21 members here in Washington are supporting them through donations at our winter General Membership Meetings. UFCW 21 members have been marching in the streets to support Black Lives Matter and pushing against unfair hiring practices.
More good news is that most people in our society agree that injustice, income inequality and racist, sexist, and anti gay/lesbian/transgender policies and speech are bad. Most people in America agree that workers who want a union at work should have one without interference from their employer. However, most people believing something is not enough. People need to take action in order to resist and push back against fear and hatred.
Making Lives Better
When we take action in a union, we can make change for the good. When we work together to organize workplaces and achieve strong contracts that are enforced we improve lives. When we advocate for new and improved laws and take collective action with our community partners we can make things better for everyone. When we commit to action, we move our workplaces and communities away from fear and intolerance and toward economic, political and social justice. That is the mission of UFCW 21.
United For Quality Care
When UFCW 21 health care members at Providence Everett joined together with OPEIU Local 8 members at the hospital on a common petition to Management for improved contracts and working conditions, they found greater strength than if either had acted alone. That is the story we know to be true and we need to repeat time and again. Taking action together works. This helped both groups of workers from two unions win improved contracts.
Taking a Break is Good for Everyone
For health care workers breaks are not only an issue for our own health and safety but for all of our patients and co-workers too. In many hospitals and clinics people work through breaks and/or get disciplined if they report missing one. For two years our members at Capital Medical Center have taken action together and documented problems, pushing a grievance and recently winning new contract language for taking breaks and documenting missed breaks. The new language secures all employees’ right to take a paid 15 minute break for each four hours of working time and requires employees to record any missed meal/rest periods without any retaliation. Way to go Capital Medical Center members!
Another Job Saved by Strong Contract & Action
Renee Gebre is a cashier at Safeway (1845 Greenwood). Every day grocery store checkers process WIC checks (a federal program to help moms with lower income get better nutrition for their kids). One day Renee made a mistake when processing a WIC check and was suspended. Our agreement with Safeway is that there must be two written warnings before a suspension for this type of violation. After contacting the employer’s labor relations, the suspension was reduced to a written warning and Ms. Gebre was paid for the hours of work she missed for her suspension.
Steward Trainings Keep Growing our Union
Eight members from PCC, led by Deli worker Atsuko Koseki (second from right) were recently trained up to be Stewards. Though PCC workers negotiate their contract independently, when they heard that the vast majority of UFCW 21 grocery store workers were soon to be going into their own contract negotiations, these PCC workers wanted to be trained up as Stewards and help as much as possible for everyone to achieve better wages, benefits and working conditions. Great work Atsuko and all the other PCC Stewards who went through the training pictured here.
Members Stand Up for Their Rights
Our 2015 Legislative Agenda
Concerns Raised About Non-Profit Hospitals’ Debt Collection
Providence United – 5,000 Strong and Growing
Central Co-op Leads Nation on Progressive Wages