UFCW 655 contract talks with Schnucks, Dierbergs start on positive note

Contract talks covering 7,000 grocery worker members of UFCW Local 655 are continuing with company executives expressing a positive attitude in a news release last week announcing the start of early talks.

  • Schnucks: “We’re pleased with the direction following our (initial) two sessions at the bargaining table,” said David Bell, Schnucks’ Chief Financial Officer. “Schnucks is eager to continue these conversations, and hopeful that by working together with UFCW Local 655, we’ll reach an agreement soon that shows how much we value our teammates by increasing their financial compensation under the new contract.”
  • Dierbergs Markets: “We enjoy providing an environment where individuals can build long-term careers. We have had productive negotiations so far; and are looking forward to completing the contract,” said CEO Greg Dierberg.

The current three-year contract doesn’t expire until May, however all involved felt it important to begin much earlier than normal in order to secure wage increases for workers as soon as possible.

Pointing out the incredible efforts grocery workers have made during the pandemic, Local 655 President David Cook said that “wages were the union’s top priority, given that his members have worked throughout the COVID pandemic and higher compensation is necessary to properly reward long-term employees and attract new workers.”

Noting the statements from both companies issued as the start of talks, Cook said that “the employers were eager to find this common ground as well,” and he is looking forward to productive negotiations.

Talks began Feb. 24. They cover both companies’ employees in 87 stores in the eastern half of Missouri, 64 Schnucks and 23 Dierbergs.

A total of three negotiating sessions have been held at Labor Tribune press time Monday. Talks are scheduled weekly.

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