The United Food and Commercial Workers Local #4 has successfully ratified all eight of their small employer and meat contracts in Montana, as well as their eleven contracts each with supermarket giants Albertsons and Safeway.
While some of the contracts moved steadily through the process, others had been painstakingly negotiated for alomost two years.
"Nicolai Cocergine and the negotiating teams, comprised of workers from each location, are the ones who did all the work," said UFCW Field Representative Terrie Trettenbach.
The contracts were ratified by a unanimous vote of the membership.
"We were able to get the 28% funding increases necessary to maintain the healthcare plan and the money needed to maintain early retirement benefits as well as the standard pension benefits. We also got an average of 2.75% wage increase over the next two years," said UFCW Local #4 President Nicolai Cocergine.
Thirteen hundred Montana workers are covered by these thirty collective bargaining agreements. UFCW Local #4 has only one contract pending finalization and ratification in the entire state.
"This is a major victory for these workers and for setting the standard for other employers in the grocery and meat packing industries. These UFCW contracts set the standard that all employers must compete with to attract the best workers," said Al Ekblad, Executive Secretary of the Montana State AFL-CIO.
UFCW Local #4, headquartered in Butte, represents workers in grocery sales, meat packing operations, warehouses and medical offices in Montana from as far west as Libby, as far south as Dillon, and as far east as Glendive. For help organizing a union at your workplace to gain collective bargaining rights call the UFCW #4 office at 406-428-7017 or within Montana at 1-800-428-7017.
Pictured above is the Kalispell negotiating team.