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King Kullen Supermarket and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1500 have come to a tentative agreement after three months of negotiations and four extensions of the previous collective bargaining agreement. Voting to ratify the agreement, which would cover 2,000 King Kullen workers, will take place Monday, Dec. 23.
“The only way we could have reached this tentative agreement was through the solidarity, patience and dedication of the King Kullen members,” noted Bruce Both, lead negotiator and president of Westbury, N.Y.-based Local 1500, who earlier this month identified pension and benefits issues as the chief stumbling blocks to an earlier resolution of negotiations.
Billing itself as “America’s first supermarket,” Bethpage, N.Y.-based King Kullen, which first opened its doors in 1930, operates 41 stores, all of them on New York’s Long Island.
Stop & Shop and Vote
Additionally, Local 1500 and Quincy, Mass.-based Ahold USA banner Stop & Shop have reached a tentative agreement covering more than 6,000 grocery workers from the East End of Long Island to Rhinebeck, in upstate New York. As with King Kullen, benefits were at issue, with complications engendered by the Affordable Care Act cited by the union as a major sticking point during negotiations. A ratification vote is also set for Dec. 23.
UFCW Local 1500 represents more than 22,000 grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties. Besides King Kullen and Stop & Shop, members work at Pathmark, Fairway, Gristedes, D’Agostinos, Key Food and ShopRite stores.