An initiative letting voters decide whether to raise the minimum wage in Alaska has met the minimum signatory requirements to be on the August 19th ballot. Lt Governor Treadwell signed the certification of the initiative and authorized its inclusion on the primary ballot. We ended up with 36,480 valid signatures, 6,300 more than we needed and we met the required number of House Districts. We needed 30 and got 33 and only missed getting the Valdez/Delta Junction District by 7 signatures and Homer by 17. The proposal would raise the current minimum wage of $7.75 to $8.75 on January 1, 2015, and to $9.75 a year later. The wage would be adjusted annually for inflation after that. If the resulting minimum wage is less than a dollar over the Federal Minimum Wage, it would then be set at $1 higher. Be sure to register and vote so we can get this initiative passed. New voters or voters who need to update their registration information can find information on the Alaska Division of Elections website at www.elections,alaska,gov.. Also check out the website www.AlaskaNeedsaRaise.org and spread the word to get out and vote for this initiative.
SAFEWAY: Homer: Members ratified a new 3 year agreement on December 17, 2013. The Fully Recommended Settlement included the same terms and conditions as Anchorage and Fairbanks with improvements to progressions and starting rates. A special thanks to Robert Webber and Brad Billings for getting members to come out and vote.
Ketchikan: Members ratified a new 3 year contract on February 12, 2014. The settlement included the same terms and conditions as the Homer settlement with improvements to progressions and starting rates. A special thanks to Donato Punongbayan, (pictured left with Union Representative Frank Mutchie), for helping us count the votes.
Palmer/Wasilla: Safeway has offered the same deal as above with improvements to starting rates. The settlement offer is fully recommended by the Negotiating Committee and the Union. We plan to vote on Thursday, March 6th. Next for Safeway are Juneau, Kenai/Soldotna and Seward & the Safeway Warehouse.
FRED MEYER: Fairbanks Grocery/Meat and Seafood: The Union and the Bargaining Committee met with the Employer on January 28th & 29th and reached a Fully Recommended Settlement. The 3 year deal included improvements to starting rates, lump sum bonuses and increases to Journeyperson rates. The members ratified the settlement overwhelmingly on February 12, 2014. Next for Fred Meyer are the Wasilla, and the Anchorage Meat & Seafood agreements which expire later this spring.
Although the retail sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in the United States and an important employer of minorities and women, many retail workers are struggling to survive in low wage jobs with inconsistent hours and little to no benefits. To help retail workers connect with each other, a Rising Up in Retail Facebook page has been launched at http://on.fb.me/1mvS904 so that workers can engage in online discussions about the challenges and issues they face in their stores and share solutions. The new Facebook page also serves as a place where union and nonunion workers can help each other improve their jobs and build a larger network of workers and activists who support retail worker issues.
1. That with hours being cut this time of year, you still must not work off the clock to get your job done? NO FREE TIMING.
2. That if you leave the building any time during your assigned shift, you must punch out and then back in upon your return?
3. That you need to be aware of your allowable break times and take your break(s)? Do not exceed your time or save your break until the end of your shift to leave early.
4. That you can only use your club card for your own purchases? You cannot use them for friends or customers who do not have one.
5. That if Catalina Coupons are not used, they are property of Safeway. Any Catalina Coupon not used and left by customers are to be destroyed. Any other use will be considered theft and be treated as such.
6. That you should make sure you pay for purchases before consuming any of it? Attach your receipt to the product. Do not remove magazines or books from shelves to read during break even if you intend to return them later.
7. That if you purchase products and/or groceries where you are employed, it raises sales, which in turn, can raise labor hours?
Your contract in Ketchikan between Safeway and UFCW Local 1496 was ratified overwhelmingly February 19, 2014. You now have a three year contract in place March 8, 2013 through March 12, 2016.
All classifications will receive a raise and or bonus as soon as possible after ratification.
Ratification sheets with all the changes are available from your Shop Steward Sally Spears and Ninette Waisanen. As soon as we get your contract revised, we will forward copies to Sally and Ninette.
Thank you for your support. ~Solidarity Works!
DATE DAY PLACE TIME
3/3/14 Mon Ketchikan @ IBEW 7:00 PM
3/4/14 Tues Ketchikan @ Best Western Landing 9:00 AM
3/4/14 Tues Petersburg @ Scandia House 7:00 PM
3/5/14 Wed Petersburg @ Scandia House 9:00 AM
3/6/14 Thurs Juneau @ Travel Lodge Glacier Hwy 6:00 PM
3/10/14 Mon Homer @ Bidarka Inn (Downstairs Conference Room) 6:00 PM
3/11/14 Tues Kenai/Soldotna @ Aspen Hotel (Binkley Circle) 4:00 PM
3/12/14 Wed Kenai/Soldotna @ Aspen Hotel (Binkley Circle) 9:00 AM
3/12/14 Wed Seward @ Holiday Inn Express (Conference Room) 6:00 PM
Come to the meetings and stay informed! SOLIDARITY WORKS!
Vince Beltrami, Kim Hays from the AFL-CIO and Ed Flanagan, a former Alaska State Labor Commissioner, submitted petitions on January 17th containing signatures of more than 43,000 Alaskans who support the minimum wage hike going before voters in August. The ballot initiative proposes to raise the minimum wage to $8.75 on Jan 1, 2015, and to $9.75 a year later. After that, the rate would be adjusted for inflation or would be $1 more than the federal minimum wage, whichever is greater. Backers of the increase want voters, not legislators, to approve the new rates. For the first 4 decades of statehood, Alaska’s minimum age was the highest in the country. It was set at 50 cents above the federal rate. Alaska’s rank has fallen in recent years to No. 17 despite the high cost of living here. Around the country, ballot measures boosting minimum wage typically pass overwhelmingly, the backers, said. The minimum wage here has been $7.75 since January 1, 2010. If the ballot initiative passes, about 30,000 Alaska workers likely would see an increase in pay. “It ought to be worth somebody’s while to go out and get a job and have some hope of being able to provide for themselves and their family. The current minimum wage is totally inadequate”, Flanagan said,
In 29 states, a worker can be fired just for being gay, lesbian, or bisexual. The same is true in 33 states for transgender Americans. This is wrong. Hiring, firing, promotions and other employment decisions should be based on the merits. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. In November, the Senate passed ENDA on a bipartisan vote but, once again, Speaker Boehner is refusing to bring the House bill (H.R.1755) forward. The UFCW will continue to stand up for all of its members—no matter where they are from, what they look like, what language they speak, or who they love. Congress must follow suit. A worker in one state should not be denied rights available to one in another. All Americans deserve equal protection under the law.
Employees with one (1) or more years of service must select their vacation week(s) in writing no later than February 1, 2014. Vacations selected after February 1st will be approved on a first come/first serve basis in accordance with your Union Contract. Remember, Employees are NOT allowed to schedule vacations during the Christmas period from November 15th to December 31st except by mutual agreement between the Employer and the Employee. If your request is rejected for any other reason, please contact The UFCW Local 1496 Office and speak to your representative. For more information on Vacations refer to your Union Contract.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) released the following statement in response to introduction of the FAMILY ACT, a bill to create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program.
“A worker who gets sick, gives birth, or has to care for a loved one should not be forced to lose their income for an extended period of time. These are real life events that nearly every family will experience, so it makes perfect sense to provide workers with a safety net. The United States is the only developed country that does not guarantee paid sick leave for workers. Fewer than 40 percent have employer-provided paid leave they can use for their own medical needs, and just 12 percent have it to care for a family member. We must do better. This common sense legislation is modeled after two successful programs in California and New Jersey and will help ensure no one goes broke just because they get sick or need time off. We urge Congress to pass the FAMILY ACT as soon as possible.”