CLEVELAND -- United Food and Commercial Workers Local 880 members here have ratified a new three-year contract covering 15,500 employees in 150 northeastern Ohio stores.
, Finast, Fisher Foods, Acme and Country Counter supermarkets -- was approved in a 2 to 1 vote, management and union officials told SN last week.
The contract calls for improvements in health benefits, pension contributions and work rules. Employees also will get a $1 hourly wage hike payable over three years, and department heads will get $1.30 raise, said Jim Jerele, Local 880 president. The pact, which replaces one that expired Sept. 8, covers three groups: cashiers, bakery, grocery and other front-end employees in Akron and Canton; front-end workers in Cleveland; and meatcutters in both areas, he said.
Despite the difficulty of having several entities involved in negotiations, management and union officials said they are pleased with the outcome of the vote, which ended Oct. 11. The contract was reached late last month.
"Negotiations were more difficult than anticipated, but we believe the companies gained a contract they can live with for the next three years," said Frank Buck, a Cleveland attorney representing the CFIC and ACFIC. "We feel it's a good contract for both sides."
"It was an outstanding accomplishment," Jerele said. "There were some huge challenges we faced at the bargaining table. But we came away with a unified agreement."