Thursday, 14 June 2012 01:38

Raley’s ended labor mediation Friday with no new agreement

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Amador County – A mediated negotiation session between the United Food & Commercial Workers and Raley’s ended Friday, June 8, and no new talks were scheduled, with the contract extended on a day-by-day basis.

The Union offered a proposal which Raley’s management rejected, saying it would increase the company’s operating costs. Raley’s spokesman John Segale, released details of the mediation Friday, saying the union also is “demanding that we provide the union with the full authority to develop a new contract agreement with no input from Raley’s while guaranteeing it would win approval from its members.”

Segale said Raley’s was “stunned and disappointed to receive such an outrageous contract offer from the union leadership.” He said it would “increase our operating costs an additional $20 million in just the first year of the contract including requiring us to pay signing bonuses, provide wage increases and increase the cost of our health and welfare plan.”

He said “union leaders demanded that we give them complete authority to develop a final agreement without any input” on what our company would be required to pay. “It is very frustrating to attempt to negotiate with a union leadership that seems so out of touch with the realities of today’s economy.”

He said Raley’s faces “tremendous competitive pressures and we must lower our operating expenses immediately. Clearly, the union leadership is ignoring these facts and seems intent on destroying Raley’s while eliminating the jobs of 3,400 of its members.”

UFCW’s Local 8 President Jacques Loveall made a statement Friday saying the union’s “goal is to avoid a labor dispute, to stabilize morale, to regain harmonious labor relations and to protect the Raley’s brand. Our intention is to structure an agreement to address the legitimate competitive challenges of the employer while maintaining the security and dignity of the Union membership.”

Local 8 proposed that the parties agree to an “audit to justify the company’s claims of need for financial relief.” They also proposed “instruction of the Union and Employer accountants and actuaries to establish a budget for labor costs based on the audit findings.”

The proposal also sought “empowering of the Union bargaining committee to structure an overall settlement for membership recommendation.”

Loveall in the statement said the Union bargaining committee “has an unparalleled depth of experience in designing benefits packages, administering and negotiating contracts, understanding the expectations of the membership and creating sensible solutions.”

He said “with the cooperation of the employer in this efficient process, the Union will design a settlement within the agreed-upon budget, in an expedited fashion with the assurance of an unconditional recommendation of ratification to the membership.”

Story by Jim Reece This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read 757 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 June 2012 02:09