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United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 400 and 27 have voted to ratify new labor contracts with Giant-Landover and Safeway. A tentative agreement for Giant Food and Safeway associates was hammered out last week
“Throughout negotiations, our goal was to reach an agreement that ensures our associates continue to be among the highest-compensated in the industry in the Baltimore-Washington area, while also positioning Giant to effectively compete in a growing marketplace,” said Giant Food LLC president Anthony Hucker. The nogotiations featured more than 20 rank-and-file members who urged co-workers to ratify the contract.
"It's especially impressive that we were able to obtain one of the only contracts in the country with a maintenance-of-benefits provision requiring Giant and Safeway to contribute whatever it takes to our health and welfare plan to pay all health benefits," noted Tom McNutt, president of Landover, Md.-based Local 400, which represents a total of 40,000 workers in various industries. "No matter what, our members will receive comprehensive health care without having to pay a penny more out of pocket." McNutt added that although he was pleased with the present contract, he viewed it as "a foundation for further improvements in the next round of bargaining."
The new contract, which also provides across-the-board wage increases and continued retirement security, takes effect retroactively April 1 and runs until Oct. 31, 2013, due to the uncertainty surrounding implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Maryland-based Giant Food, a division of Ahold USA, operates 174 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, and employs about 22,000 associates.