UFCW Local 88 members ratify three-year contract with Schnucks, averting strike


Meat, Seafood & Deli Workers (UFCW) Local 88 workers at Schnucks Markets ratified a three-year contract agreement with the grocery chain July 11, averting a strike.

Dan Telle, president of Local 88 said the contract resolves major issues, including pay increases, set days off and an increase in the company contribution to the employee health-and-welfare fund.

Members approved the contract by an overwhelming 87 percent vote.

Local 88 represents 1,242 members at Schnucks stores.

Members previously voted to reject the company’s earlier contract offer and authorized union leadership to call for a strike, but after a marathon negotiating session on July 5 Telle said the two sides reached agreement on a contract that includes the largest wage increase in the Local’s history.

“The money package that was in there spoke volumes,” he said. “It was the biggest wage increase over three years in the history of Local 88.

“We got sick days back. We got holiday pay, back pay and set days off. With the contribution increase to our Health and Welfare Fund, we were able to double our short-term disability, which was a big thing for the members.”

Telle said the company’s contribution will “shore up the health and welfare fund to keep it in shape.”

The contract includes:

  • Wage increases ranging from $3.15-an-hour to $4.40-an-hour over the three years of the contract. The increase will bring Local 88 members closer to parity with UFCW Local 655 members at Schnucks doing the same work.
  • Retroactive increases. The last contract expired March 26. Telle said the raises will be retroactive to March 27.
  • Two paid sick days for qualifying members and a sick bank of up to 30 hours members can access if they are on short-term disability.
  • Holiday premium pay.
  • Orientation language allowing the union to talk to new employees as they’re coming on board.
  • Set days off.
  • Increase in health and welfare contribution of 20 cents per hour per each of the three years of the contract.

“When it passes by 87 percent, that tells you that everybody’s happy,” Telle said, noting that the high approval was the result of a “good proposal.”

Telle said the contract would not have been possible without the solidarity of Local 88’s members.
“I think it’s the memberships fortitude to stick by what they needed. The company understood that they were prepared to do whatever they needed to do to get what is rightfully theirs.”

Local 88 represents roughly 11 percent of all Schnucks employees at 68 locations, mostly in the St. Louis area. Schnucks Markets owns 115 supermarkets and employs roughly 12,000 associates in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

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