After day-long bargaining, it became apparent to our bargaining committee that we were making no headway in reaching agreement on non-monetary issues. Union negotiators informed the Employer that we would no longer move on contractual language proposals without seeing equivalent movement from the Employer.

Currently SuperOne is proposing to eliminate health care benefits from over 300 of our members. This proposal alone has lit a fire under our members. Actions surrounding the protection of our health care benefits are being planned, so stay in communication with stewards and other Union activists for more information.

The federal mediator assigned to these negotiations recognized the stalemate and informed both parties that further negotiations would be suspended until she met with the lead negotiators. This meeting will occur today, Friday, June 27. At this meeting, future dates will be determined along with a process for achieving success in future bargaining sessions. We will continue to update and inform our members when we return to the bargaining table.

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6/25/14 South St. Paul -- "That won't work for us and it won't work for our members," said President Don Seaquist to area employers Lunds/Byerlys, Jerry's Cub, Cub Corporate, Festival, and Kowalski's.  After several sub-committee sessions to explore solutions to providing health care coverage for St. Paul area grocery workers, the Employer group showed its typical lack of creativity and continued with its proposal to take healthcare away from the majority of part-time workers pushing them to the exchanges with no additional compensation.

The Employer’s proposal is in stark contrast to the Union proposal, which shares the increased cost of coverage, enabling the majority of members who have coverage to continue to receive benefits, moving significantly fewer members to the exchanges, and proposing compensation in the form of annual bonuses for members who lose coverage in each year of the agreement.

"57% will have to buy it elsewhere with no dollars to do it," said Seaquist, expressing the frustration of the Union bargaining committee, "speaking on behalf of the members, this is a non-starter."  Union committee members discussed schedules for informational picketing at each of the Employers.  Members are encouraged to watch their email for more information.

Future negotiations are set for 7/24, 8/4 and 8/5. 

employer062514.pdf Employer Health Care Proposal

union062514.pdfUnion Health Care Proposal

On June 25th, all major retail supermarket employers, along with the union bargaining committee, will meet at 9AM at the Union Hall to continue negotiations for a new agreement. Since we last met, a sub-committee was formed in an effort to bring back to the full committees a recommendation on health care. This sub-committee met twice without reaching any recommendations related to contributions, design or future eligibility criteria. No decisions were made as to how we would meet our fund shortfall of over $6 million. We are inviting members of the Rainbow bargaining committee to future sessions, although Roundy’s, their current employer will not be participating. Rainbow committee members will be part of their new employers bargaining committee once the sale has been completed. We will again update everyone at the conclusion of bargaining on June 25th. --Don Seaquist, President

The parties met for their initial negotiation session today.  While the Union was looking forward to a return to our previously collaborative and productive relationship, Essentia’s phrase of the day was “we’re not interested in that at this time.” At issue are wages, benefits, vacation scheduling, and even whether or not the Union negotiating team should be provided with benefit hours while they’re negotiating, which flies in the face of the past 20 years of negotiating with this employer. 

The parties meet again on May 29 and the Union is hopeful that the spring thaw will have come to the icy heart of Essentia. 

The ARGA negotiating committee met with the employers on May 12 and 13 in Duluth.  Once again we made some progress with both sides dropping items from their proposals.

On the meat department proposal, the committee has dropped items 2, 3, 4 and 15.  The Employer has dropped item 4 and the last sentence of item 6 – b 9.2.  Both parties spent  several hours on Article 9/Holidays and have revised 9.1-9.4.  We still are not done with all parts as we have made a counter to their proposal.

On the grocery proposal, the committee has dropped items 4, 5, 10, and 22. The Employer has dropped item 4 and the last sentence of item 6 – c.9.2. Both parties have worked on 9.1 through 9.4. (same as the meat proposal).   Item 7 c 10.7 has been dropped.

Both sides discussed dropping several issues to move this along but we could not reach an agreement.  The Employers were advised that before we could make any more movement on our proposal, we would need a comprehensive proposal from them to determine what our position will be.

Our next meeting dates are scheduled for June 26-27.  We will continue to keep you updated as negotiations progress.

Related negotiations