Dierbergs employees accept new contract proposal

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UFCW Local 655 clerks approved the new Dierbergs contract Tuesday night by a vote of 520 to 107. – Labor Tribune photo

Contract economics, benefits are the same as those accepted by Schnucks employees last week

Members of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 655, in a secret ballot vote this evening at the Machinists Hall, approved a new three-year contract from Dierbergs. The vote was 520 to accept the contract and 107 to reject, Local 655 President David Cook announced.

Local 655 began negotiations with Dierbergs and Shop ‘n Save immediately following ratification of a revised contract accepted by Schnucks employees last week. Although not directly part of the Schnucks negotiations, both Dierbergs and Shop ‘n Save management representatives sat in on the negotiations, agreeing to accept the same contract economics and work conditions ultimately accepted by Schnucks employees.

A similar voting meeting is set for tomorrow Wednesday, Nov. 2, for Shop ‘n Save employees. Straubs, whose contract expired Sept. 24, is not part of these negotiations but will be presented with the same economic package.

“While this contract does not have everything we wanted, it does represent significant improvements over the original proposal,” Cook said.

The new agreement includes increases in wages, increases in health and welfare contributions ensuring no members will lose coverage, and maintaining pension benefits for all workers. It was unanimously recommended for acceptance by the union’s officers and rank-and-file Negotiating Committee.

“Our members deserve to be recognized for their sacrifices with a fair contract. The significant concessions in this contract shows Dierbergs management understood that, and realizing that our members were prepared to strike, agreed with Schnucks management, who basically negotiated for all three major food chains, to offer a much better contract.”

The union’s current three-year contract expired May 8 but had been extended on a day-to-day basis while negotiations continued.

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