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CLIFTON, N.J. -- Members of United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1262 here avoided a strike after reaching a tentative contract agreement with the managements of ShopRite, Pathmark, Foodtown, and Stop & Shop.
The tentative agreement was reached just a day before the current contract's expiration at midnight on April 16.
According to Harvey Whille, president of the 30,000-member UFCW Local 1262, representatives from the union and supermarkets held intense negotiations to forge a contract that maintains the members' health care package with no employee premium contribution, while also providing a major increase in the pension fund. The pact also includes a "generous wage package that continues to lead the industry," Whille said.
A new feature of the tentative agreement includes a provision to allow members who are called to active military service to maintain health care coverage for themselves and their families while they are serving their country.
"Local 1262 is proud of the package we forged for our members. This contract is one of the best in the nation. The contract is fair and will protect our members' health coverage and their retirements," said Whille. "It reflects the value the employers place on our members and the work they do every day."
The agreement comes on the heels of meetings held by the union last week at which Local 1262's members voted overwhelmingly to authorize the union's leadership to authorize a strike if the negotiations did not proceed satisfactorily. Such a strike would have affected more than 250 supermarkets in New Jersey and southwestern New York State.