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.
With the decrease of accountability on those that commit petty theft throughout the state, we have seen a dramatic increase of shoplifters in the bargaining units Alaska's UFCW represents. We've had some of our members make the wrong decision and decide to try to take matters into their own hands. In doing so, they put their lives in danger! We've had members that have had knives pulled on them, our members have been tasered, and even shot while trying to pursue these individuals. Trying to apprehend these thieves is flat out dangerous and against the spirit of any Union contract we bargain. Our members' safety is paramount, and the Employers policy and procedures forbids our members from chasing or trying to detain a suspected shoplifter. If you see something, say something to Store Directors or PICS, but never put yourself at risk.
The Local 1496 Fairbanks Fred Meyer West Grocery and Meat & Seafood, Fred Meyer Fairbanks East Meat & Seafood Negotiation Committee reached a settlement withe the Employer last month and members voted unanimously in favor to accept a new 3 year agreement on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. Next for upcoming Fred Meyer contracts will be the Fred Meyer #653 Wasilla Meat & Seafood contract in the Spring of 202 and the 4 Fred Meyer Stores in Anchorage for the Meat & Seafood Agreements which will open for bargaining next summer. Recently, Safeway contracts were ratified by members in Southeast Alaska at Juneau and Ketchikan, where members voted overwhelmingly to accept new 3-year agreements. Also Plumbers Local 262 Business Office in Juneau ratified a new agreement too. Palmer/Wasilla Safeway voted and ratified a new 3-year contract in December. Next in line for voting is Safeway Kenai/Soldotna sometime in January. The Safeway in Homer Union, members are currently waiting for bargaining dates to meet and negotiate with the Employer.
We frequently inform our members a bout the importance of "shopping Union", and for good reason. Actually, we have 8 good reasons for your and your family to shop only at Union stores, but Union-made products and patronize Union employers whenever possible:
1. You'll increase your Union's clout at the bargaining table. Wages and benefits are highest where Union employers command the highest percentage of market share. Where Union market share is low, some employers may interpret it as a sign of weakness and try to push for concessions. But strong Union market share is taken as evidence of a strong Union which will fight for the best possible contract.
2. You'll encourage higher standards throughout the many industries we represent. Non-Union competition tends to drive down wages and benefits for everyone. When you spend your dollars at an Union-affiliated employer, you help the company resist the competitive pressures to "cut corners" and try to lower its own standards.
3. Union businesses need your business. The good Union job you save could be your own!
4. You'll help increase the availability of work hours. A busier store or other business means more work and more pay for Union workers.
5. You'll help fortify your community's economic health. Union employers pay better, so their workers have more to spend, supporting local businesses. The workers also have good health benefits, so they don't have to rely on taxpayer-supported health services.
6. Good behavior should be rewarded. A good Union employer deserves encouragement and support for treating workers with respect.
7. You'll protect your health benefits. Every hour of work gained at a non-Union business meas an equivalent loss at a Union employer. The result is less money in the health benefits trust funds which pay for health care for Union members and their families. Conversely, more business at Union businesses equals more hours for Union workers, which equals more money to spend on health benefits.
8. You'll be expressing your Union pride. Showing your support for Union employers expresses your personal commitment to the power of Solidarity.