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CLEMENTON, N.J. - ShopRite has reached an agreement with UFCW Local 1360 that ends a seven-week strike that has effected 10 ShopRite stores in the New Jersey counties of Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester. The members of Local 1360 voted on the contract in a meeting held Sunday evening, October 28.
"We are relieved that this strike is finally over," stated George Zallie Sr., CEO of Zallie Supermarkets Inc., who owns six of the stores involved in the work stoppage. "This strike has taken a toll on our business, it has inconvenienced our loyal customers, and it has impacted the livelihoods of our associates."
Members of UFCW Local 1360 began the strike on Sept. 6, after Union leadership recommended that its members reject ShopRite's wage and benefit proposal calling it "inadequate" and expressed concern that the planned benefit increases would not maintain health and welfare benefits without resulting in co-payments for workers.
While the new contract contains the same proposal for health and welfare benefits as the original proposal, the amended contract allows ShopRite to establish its own fund to administer health and welfare benefits. The fund will continue to be maintained by the Tri-State Health and Welfare Fund, will have both union and management representation and will mirror the benefits offered in the current plan. "The new fund will allow us to have representation in a process which, for years, we have been denied," stated Steven Ravitz, president of Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, who owns four of the stores involved in the negotiations.
Zallie Supermarkets Inc. and Supermarkets of Cherry Hill Inc. are independently owned and operated and are members of Wakefern Food Corporation, a retailer-owned cooperative.