December 2, 2007

Strike Averted! UFCW NorCal Unions and Safeway Reach Tentative Agreement

A UFCW work stoppage at Safeway stores was avoided after round-the-clock negotiations resulted in a tentative agreement with four UFCW Unions representing 25,000 workers at some 300 Safeway stores in Northern California.

The four-year agreement was reached the day the contract was set to expire. Strike authorization votes scheduled to take place on Sunday and Monday have been canceled.

No specifics on the new pact were released pending distribution of the agreement to Union members.

In a statement, the UFCW presidents did reveal: "Our goals were to achieve:

• Substantial wage increases

• No employee-paid premiums for medical benefits

• Improvements to the medical benefits

• Protection of pension benefits

• No concessions

"We achieved our goals reaching an agreement that benefits the specific needs of our members working in Safeway stores," said Union Presidents Ron Lind (UFCW Local 5,, Jacques Loveall (UFCW 8-Golden State,, Mike Borstel (UFCW Local 101, and Michael Sharpe (UFCW Local 648,

"We are pleased that we were able to reach this fine agreement. This model contract sets the standard for workers in the supermarket industry. Next we will focus our energies on bringing these benefits to non-union workers doing the same work for less," the presidents said.

The four Union locals negotiated under the banner of UFCW Solidarity and represent workers from Monterey and Fresno County in the south to the Oregon border.