The date of the Solidarity picnic has changed from July 17th to Sunday, June 26th. It will be held on the Anchorage Park Strip from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. There will be plenty of free food, door prizes, music and games for the kids. Look for flyers to be posted soon. Hope to see you there!
Congratulations to Frank Brown, who is now the newest member of our Executive Board. He is replacing Marvin Hipsak, who retired last year. Frank has been a member of Local 1496 since 1983 and a Shop Steward since 2008. He represents our Wasilla Safeway store and works in the receiving department. We are pleased to have him on board and welcome his expertise in helping shape the future of our Local.
Invite your family and friends and come to the Solidarity Baseball Game at the Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage on Wednesday, June 8th to watch the Anchorage Bucs play against the Glacier Pilots. The game starts at 7:00 pm. We will have complimentary tickets to the game and if you would like some, just give us a call at 258-1496 or drop by the Union office at 501 W. Northern Lights Blvd, Suite 200. Your Union Reps will also be handing out tickets at the stores.
If you work off the clock (before work, after work, or during your breaks) you are getting more work done than Management paid for. The company is responsible to ensure all workers take their breaks. If you do not take your break, you are working minutes for free that someone else could be paid for. Minutes add up to hours, which add up to weeks. If the Employer knowingly allows you to work off the clock, this is a violation of the law and you should contact your Union Rep.
Many Local 1496 members have second jobs, school obligations, and other activities outside of work. It is important to communicate to your schedule writer and receive permission from management if you need specific time periods off from work prior to the schedule being written whenever possible. Just calling in and leaving a message with someone could lead to your absence being unexcused, in particular if the reason for the absence is not health or family emergency related. Play it safe, always communicate, and get the okay ahead of time.
We would like to welcome the newest member of our staff, Sandra Cornelius. She is working as a part time receptionist in our Fairbanks Office. She will be working in the afternoons, 12 to 5 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. On Thursdays she will be working from 8 to 1. She is helping with administrative duties for the Fairbanks Representative, Silvana Tirban and answering some of our members’ basic questions.
Congratulations to the Safeway Fairbanks/North Pole stores as they ratified a new 3 year contract on January 27th and also to the Homer Members who ratified their new 3 year contract on March 7th. Both settlements included bonuses, made improvements to wages and were accepted overwhelmingly. Next up for Safeway is Ketchikan, followed by Palmer/Wasilla and Juneau.
The Haggen bankruptcy saga has taken another turn as Federal Trade Commission documents reveal that the parent company of Albertsons wants to buy 29 of Haggen’s stores in Washington and Oregon. Haggen and Albertsons’ parent company, Cerberus Institutional Partners, are working on finalizing a purchase agreement for $106 million. Most Haggen employees will keep their jobs if the sale is finalized. Local UFCW 21 stated the proposed sale agreement “provides that Albertsons will extend offers of employment to all UFCW members within these stores and assume their seniority status, wages, earned sick leave, vacation days, paid time off and personal holidays. We will closely monitor the sales process and seek to ensure that any concerns impacting UFCW members are addressed.” Haggen bought 146 stores in December 2014 and struggled to convert those stores to its brand. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September and has been auctioning its stores since.
In an effort to help Flint families dealing with an unprecedented water and economic crisis, the International UFCW has teamed up with some of America’s largest food manufacturers for a massive donation of food to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. The UFCW worked in partnership with Cargill, ConAgra Foods, Hormel Foods, JOBS USA, Pinnacle Foods, Downs, Food Group and Ryder Logistics to gather more than 60 tons of items for donation. Items donated include beef, ground beef, Peter Pan and Skippy peanut butter, pork, poultry, canned chicken, Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, Hormel chili, Dinty Moore Compleats beef stew, and Vienna Sausages. “The products that you all brought today is amazing because iron, calcium, and Vitamin C are three of the major things that will help reduce lead in the bodies of these small children and everyone,” said Bill Kerr, food bank president. Mike Potter, President of UFCW Local 1161 in Worthington, Minnesota, said the various chapters approached the companies they represent and none of them hesitated to step up and help. “When we saw the tragedy happening here in Flint, the economic hardship causing a lack of access to good food for many, we knew we were in a position to do something about it.” Leading this effort to help feed Flint families in need are UFCW Locals across the country, including Local 38 (Milton PA.), 293 (Fremont, Neb.), 540 (Grapevine, Tex.), 617 (Fort Madison, Iowa). 1149 (Marshalltown, Iowa), 1161 (Worthington, Minn.), 1996 (Suwanee, Ga.), who have made or contributed food or transportation to this effort. In addition, UFCW Locals 876 and 951, which represents workers in Flint and across Michigan, have been coordinating the UFCW’s ongoing efforts to serve their Flint members, their families and the broader Eastern Michigan community.