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With the clock ticking on the contract for members of New York State’s largest grocery labor union that are employed by Pathmark, Stop and Shop, King Kullen and Gristedes, leaders from United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1500 are gearing up for a series of meetings beginning June 9 to update workers on the current status of negotiations and announce dates for possible strike authorization meetings.
The contract between the 16,000 UFCW Local 1500 members and the grocery chains expires at midnight on June 26, 2010, for employees that work in stores throughout New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties.
While there hasn't been a major grocery labor strike industry in 30 years, the union says the two sides have not been able to come up with agreements on healthcare benefits, pension funding, wage increases and the use of part time workers.
The Queens Village, N.Y.-based UFWC 1500 represents a total of 23,000 grocery workers in the metro New York area. Contracts with additional employers such as Key Foods and Shop Rite, covering an additional 5,000 workers, will expire in September, 2010.