Grocery Workers Approved Historic Contract in Southern California

More than 45,000 grocery workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) voted to favor a new contract with Ralphs, Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons supermarkets, that will allow them to have the most significant salary increases in over 30 years. 

Grocery workers from Paso Robles to the Mexican border voted massively to approve a new employment contract with four major supermarket chains. 

“This contract is the first step forward to ensure good jobs and careers in the changing supermarket industry,” said Kathy Finn, Secretary-Treasurer UFCW Local 770

“As important as the hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements for our members is the way we achieve this contract: fighting together store by store and with our communities to demand recognition of the value we make these corporations win every day,” added Finn. 

The new employment contract approved for the next three years includes: 

  • Salary increases of $ 1.55 and $ 1.65 per hour (depending on job classification) in the 3 years of the contract. 
  • Retroactive payment for grocery workers as of March 2019. 
  • Start closing the wage gap between job classifications. 
  • More guaranteed work hours for employees with more years of employment. 
  • Improvements in medical care and expansion of access to health coverage for husbands and family. 
  • Full pension financing. 
  • Creation of a joint committee on the “Labor Future” to ensure that workers’ voices are part of the changes in supermarket and industry jobs (automation and new technologies). 

Related Article: UFCW Prevails in New Contract with Save Mart Corporation

Melissa Hill, director of public affairs and government relations at Albertsons Companies, said the company was pleased to have reached an agreement that provides wage increases, affordable health care and continued pension funding for grocery workers. 

“We want to thank our employees for supporting this agreement and for the contributions they make to our company,” Hill said in the statement. 

UFCW union negotiators and supermarket representatives reached an agreement on the new employment contract on Sunday, September 8 and the union recommended workers to vote in favor. After three days of voting, the UFCW union reported Thursday that the vast majority of workers approved the historic agreement. 

In June, grocery workers from nearly 500 supermarkets in Southern California had voted in favor to go on strike if negotiations failed. Now, they have a historic contract.