The year 2019 promises to be a busy one for Local 1496 members and staff. Twenty-one of our thirty-plus contracts are up this year around the state from Fairbanks with Safeway Fairbanks and North Pole stores, Fairbanks Distributors, Market Basket, and Fred Meyer East & West stores in the fall. Southeast Alaska with Tatsuda's IGA, Tongass Trading Co. and Safeway in Ketchikan, Trading Union IGA, and Hammer & Wikan in Petersburg, Safeway and Plumbers Local 262 in Juneau. Kenai Peninsula with Safeway in Homer, Kenai & Soldotna and Seward. Mat-Su Valley with Safeway Palmer-Wasilla stores to Anchorage with Safeway Warehouse Shipping and office clerks at Sheet Metal #23 and Iron Workers #751 and Plumbers #367 who just ratified a new 4 year agreement last month.
First, you co-workers/fellow Union members negotiated it into your current contract and you earned it. To not take your paid Union breaks is against the spirit of any Labor Agreement. Recently, a heard working Union member wrapping meat in a store said to us, "My work place is always so busy that I just don't have time to take my two-15 minute sit down breaks for my 8 hour shift." Our response was, "Why would you give the Employer thousands of dollars of your hard earned money?" Our fellow member said, "What to you mean?" Our response, "You're making $16.41 per hour to wrap and stock in the meat shop. If you give up a half hour of your pay every day because you work through your break, that's what it amounts to. 2.5 hours per week X $16.41/hr = $41.03 per week X 52 weeks in a year = $2,133.56." That member hasn't worked through one break since that day, and neither should you. You deserve a break today and everyday for your hard work.
The basic policy with regard to shoplifting is one of prevention. This is usually best accomplished by cheerfully greeting customer and asking if they need assistance, as shoplifters do not like to be recognized and avoid stores with friendly, attentive employees. If an employee becomes aware that someone may be leaving the store with unpurchased merchandise, he or she should report the incident to management immediately. Do not engage them. Under no circumstances may any employee pursue or otherwise chase in an attempt to detain a suspected shoplifter within the store or outside the store premises. To do so places your safety and the safety of your co-workers and customers in jeopardy. The company will not tolerate any violation of this policy and any employee that decides to pursue or otherwise chase in an attempt to detain a shoplifter will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination irrespective of whether anyone was injured.
They kill jobs, resulting in a race to the bottom. Working class Americans have faced a tough struggle the least few decades as jobs have become more scarce. Using self-checkout machines reduces the number of jobs, therefore reduces the number of man hours. This puts downward pressure on the wages of existing jobs as the available unemployed labor pool increases.
Self-Checkout machines don’t pay taxes. Each job killed is a reduction in taxes paid by a potential employee. It’s also a reduction in taxes paid by the employer. This decrease in taxes paid means less revenue for government and, consequently, less services that it can provide to those in need.
Customers dislike these machines. While most people are tech savvy and can navigate their way through self-checkouts with ease, it can be problematic for others. Sometimes bar codes and coupons don’t scan properly, products require age verification, or customers need assistance. In these types of instances, lines can become backed up. And some customers still like the personal interaction with cashiers. They don’t want the work of checking themselves out.
Potential for Theft. Because employees are unable to monitor customer transactions as closely, it’s easier to steal. Some examples would be replacing bar codes of high priced items with lower priced items or just not scanning an item or two. When caught, it’s possible for customers to plead ignorance or blame it on an equipment malfunction.
Does Local 1496 have your current information? Have you moved or changed phone numbers? Many members do NOT receive their refunds when dues sometimes get over-paid or important news may not be received because we can't contact you. Please make sure our information for you is up to date. Give us a all so we can more effectively serve you. 258-1496 or 1-800-478-1496. Fairbanks 456-6571.
First of all, the paper paychecks that could not be delivered to employees last week are now being delivered and the delivery service hopes to have all paper paychecks delivered no later than Tuesday, December 4th. In the meantime, if employees who were still receiving paper paychecks had an immediate need for their money, stores have been issuing cash paid outs and employees will pay the advance back when they get their paychecks.
In addition, the Company also has a fund that has been set up to help employees in need. That Fund is called "WE CARE" and employees in need of emergency funds or other help as a result of the earthquake can find out more about the Fund and apply for assistance using the following link: https://wecare.versaic.com/login.
Residents of Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the Kenai Peninsula whose property was damaged by Friday's earthquake may be eligible for funding to cover the cost of recovery. The funding will cover damage to homes, vehicles and essential personal property, as well as medical and dental expenses incurred because of the earthquake. The grant program is part of the state disaster declarations put in place Friday by Governor Bill Walker. Homeowners and renters with homes that are damaged and unlivable may also be eligible for state Individual Assistance Temporary Housing. Residents can apply for a grant online at ready.alaska.gov. The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will also be activating an assistance hotline at 1-855-445-7131. https://ready.alaska.gov/ to apply for individual assistance.
Aetna Behavioral Health is offering free resource to those affected by the earthquake. Individuals can contact Aetna at 1-833-327-2386 for telephonic consultation to help cope with the emotional impact of this event.
Alaska’s UFCW Local 1496 Members are the heart behind the Christmas Season and Happy Holiday’s from those who work in the meat/seafood shop, cutting, wrapping and preparing our roasts, turkeys, and beautiful cuts of meats, to our clerks in the delis and bakeries making sure we’re going to take home the finest, fresh, and appealing party trays, packaged sweets, and fresh out of the oven breads. To our folks in Starbucks who whip us up a warm and delicious beverage that helps take off the winter chill and adds an extra smile to our face. To our friends in produce trimming, culling, and rotating in the farm fresh products. From our grocery aisle stockers, DSD sales/merchandizers, and our floral arrangers creating gorgeous holiday accents that add life to any gathering. To our shipping, billing and receiving clerks, and drivers, to the folks that take care of us on our way checking out the store. All of their combined teamwork, knowledge, and expertise of our valued Alaska UFCW working families make the holidays happen and all of you together is what helps us all to have a wonderful holiday that’s remembered. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS
The Local 1496 Bargaining Committee and Safeway will meet Wednesday, December 5th and Thursday, December 6th to continue negotiations for a new Anchorage area contract. Progress in previous sessions has been slow. Your bargaining team has held firm on issues such as hard wage increases and health and welfare funding. Safeway wants you to share the cost of health and welfare contribution increases and other contract improvements. We keep hearing from Safeway that their proposals won't affect current Members, just new hires as they push to take away vacation accruals. Where have we heard that before? At some point down the road, the lower standards for new hires becomes the standard for all. We'd be foolish to think contract and benefit reductions affecting new hires will not impact us all. We know it, Safeway knows it. Additionally, your Committee has clearly communicated to Safeway that continuous turn over is hurting the store and shifting an increasing burden to "get the job done" on long term employees. You deserve better. Our goal is to move forward & get our Union Members a better contract with improvements to vote on!
Question: Is it okay to work off the clock if I’m running behind in my department and need to finish a task?
Answer: No, it’s never okay to work off the clock. It’s a violation of your Union Contract and Company Policy and Procedure. If you need more time to finish a task, get approval from Management, PIC, or Department Head.
Question: How many hours do I need to work in a month in order to maintain my healthcare benefits?
Answer: You need to have 90 hours per month, which is roughly 24 hours per week, to qualify for healthcare benefits. However, these hours are compensable hours, meaning that they are not only hours worked, but also vacation day, personal day, or sick leave that you got paid for.
Most UFCW Local 1496 contracts contain language that protects employees from having their hours reduced for the purpose of assigning such hours to new hires or extra employees. Senior employees within a classification shall be offered the most hours up to a maximum of 40 hours per week. If employees have restrictions to their availability it can adversely effect seniority rights for available hours. If less senior employees are being scheduled more hours or you have lost hours to new employees, call the UFCW Local 1496 office and speak to a Union Representative.
This is what's new in UFCW 1496!