Northern Grocers Fail to Address Union Concerns
The UFCW Local 1189 Union Negotiating Committee met with the ARGA (Arrowhead Retail Grocers' Alliance) Employers at the Duluth Labor Temple for a short but highly animated skirmish. The two sides got back together after members covered by the Agreements voted down the Employers' offer by a wide margin.
Union Representative Tom Cvar outlined the reasons members gave for the rejection. Among them were: part-time grocery members objected to having their entire increase go to health care premiums; multiple pay scales for the same job; reduction of top rates in some categories; and the extension of the time it takes to get to the top of the scales. Full-time grocery workers voted no - expressing their solidarity with their part-time coworkers and demanding a fair contract for all. Meat cutters rejected the employers' proposal for a two tiered wage scale with lower rates for new journeymen in their Agreement.
The Employers appeared to have returned to the table with no intention of addressing union members' concerns. With finger pointing and bombastic rhetoric, Employer Representative Mark Schneider went so far as to insult and disparage the union members on the committee - a comment Secretary Treasurer Jennifer Christensen strongly and vocally challenged, sending the Employers from the room.
The Union requested updated employee information from the Employer in order to assess the current situation in the stores. The Employer returned only briefly after their theatrical exodus to state that they would gather the information and contact the mediator for another time to get together.
ARGA Grocers involved in bargaining include: Super One, Cub Foods Grand Rapids, and Mount Royal
Show your support for Northern Grocery Workers - sign the petition. Send a message to the emloyers; let them know that you want the workers to have a fair contract.
Sign the online petition: http://ufcw1189.org/webforms/i-stand-solidarity-northern-grocery-workers
Download and print the petition: arga petition.pdf