International Brotherhood of Teamsters which represent more than 4000 of their drivers and truckers have come to a tentative deal with South California’s largest grocery retail stores, Kroger and Albertsons.
The deal, which was initially delayed during the COVID-19 lockdowns was negotiated virtually in the presence of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) to protect and secure affordable healthcare for the employees’ and retirees’ of Teamsters members who have been working round the clock to provide sufficient stocks to the supermarkets during the chaos of a pandemic.
In a letter to members, Lou Villalvazo, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local Union 630, and Chair of the Teamsters Joint Council 42 Food & Grocery Negotiating Committee said, "We are proud to announce that early this morning, we reached a Tentative Agreement with the Food Employers (Ralphs Grocery, Albertsons, and Vons). Going into bargaining, our #1 concern was protecting your family and retirees; – affordable health care.
Not only did we achieve that; your bargaining committee secured additional funding from the grocers to increase our reserve levels to protect your health care in the future.
The deal, had it not been reached could lead to a strike which would have left the South California’s largest grocery chains in trouble during the high demand of the coming holiday season as the workers had given a final notice for a strike that was due to expire on October 9th.
Eric Jimenez Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 952 said all his employees asked for was a ‘’fair days pay for hard work’’ as they helped these companies stay afloat as demand plunged and supplies fell short during the pandemic.
Rick Middleton Secretary– Treasurer of Teamsters Local 572 and International Vice President Teamsters commented he was proud of the deal they had reached. City News Service reported the members of the union will be recommended to ratify the contract in the next few weeks.