ST. LOUIS -- After twice rejecting earlier contract offers, clerks employed by Schnuck Markets last week approved a new three-year pact calling for a 95-cent-an-hour wage increase.
The agreement, covering 4,700 members of Local 655 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, averted a possible strike at the chain's 60 area stores. The union has been working without a contract since June 11, and members had authorized strike action if an agreement had not been reached by June 30.
Meanwhile, employees of National Super Markets and Dierbergs Family Markets were to have voted on a similar pact late last week. Those pacts affect more than 5,300 members of the union local.
Under provisions of the pact with Schnuck, clerks who now earn $12.40 an hour, will get a 35-cent-an-hour raise this year, a 25-cent boost next year and another 35-cent-an-hour raise to $13.35 a hour in the third year of the agreement. Earlier, workers had rejected a wage increase of approximately 25-cents-an-hour for the three-year period plus a signing bonus of $500.
The new pact provides that the company will continue to pay the full cost of health insurance.
Nick Torpea, president of Local 655 lauded the contract as a "good agreement with no givebacks. In the past several contracts, we had made major concessions to the food chains to keep them competitive. They are now all very profitable."
Craig Schnuck, chief executive of Schnuck, said "We're glad we have a new three-year contract with members of Local 655."