Victory for Grocery Workers

About 160 grocery workers in Brattleboro have a tentative first union contract. Within the next week, the workers at the Brattleboro Food Co-op will vote on whether to accept the contract. It was negotiated by a committee that was elected by the workers, and by management. “The contract includes raises and better benefits,” union official Jeff Jones told the Valley Post on April 9. The workers recently voted to join his union, which has a web site: www.ufcw1459.org.

The tentative contract says workers can only be fired or otherwise punished for just cause. Until now, bosses could fire workers for no reason. The contract, if approved, will last three years.

In recent decades, the richest Americans have gotten richer, while the middle class has gotten smaller and the ranks of the poor have swelled. Union workers in the U.S. make about 29 percent more money than non-union workers. That’s around $9,300 a year extra for the average worker who joins a union. For Latino workers, the union advantage is about 50 percent; for black workers, approximately 31 percent. This data is from www.bls.gov.

Millions of workers in the U.S. are union members, including workers at Stop and Shop and UPS.

More information about unions in the Valley is at:

www.ValleyPost.org/node/134

More information about co-ops in the Valley is at:

www.ValleyPost.org/2009/03/27/local-food-co-ops-hear-activists

The Valley Post will attempt to interview workers from the Brattleboro Food Co-op about the contract and will publish their statements in the "comments" section below this article.

Comments

Brattleboro Food Coop

Congratulations to the workers on your first contract!
You are joining Greenfield, Shelburne Falls and the Vermont
food coops. Solidarity!

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