John Niccolai, president of UFCW Local 464A, Little Falls, N.J., said health care, pension and wages will be on the docket for negotiations with ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Foodtown and King’s when its contract comes up for renewal March 17. The local recently saw its members who work for A&P agree to considerable givebacks, including a wage freeze and reduction in benefits as part of a negotiated settlement to help the retailer out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
He emphasized that situation wouldn’t affect talks with other employers, saying his goal was to negotiate better deals for his workers.
“I see a greater dichotomy between the interests of management and the interests of workers, and I see that primarily because, overall there’s been a diminution of the union movement in this country,” Niccolai told SN. “I tie the union movement to the growth and preservation of the middle class. As we lose union workers, we lose middle class people. Once people begin to realize that we need to have a strong union movement in order to have a strong middle class you’ll start to see resurgence. And I think that’s happening now.”