On Tuesday, March 3rd, UFCW Local 152 members who work in the retail departments of Acme Markets in New Jersey stood together and overwhelmingly voted to ratify a new contract! These members will enjoy many increased benefits in the newly ratified contract.
Perhaps the most significant highlight of the agreement, UFCW Local 152 was able to once again maintain no-cost-sharing of medical benefits, meaning these Acme Markets retail clerks will continue to pay nothing out of pocket for their healthcare plan for the duration of the contract. As healthcare costs continue to skyrocket in our country, this alone is without question a monumental win for our members!
The new four-year contract also introduced paid sick days, a request made many times in the past. The introduction of the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law helped the Negotiating Committee leverage this to become a reality. Effective upon ratification, all Acme Markets retail members can accrue up to 40 hours per year of paid sick leave, which can be rolled over into the next year or paid out at the member’s discretion. This sick time is in addition to all other forms of paid time off currently enjoyed by our members!
Next, members will experience immediate across-the-board wage increases, as well as increases each year for the life of the contract. Most department managers will enjoy an increased premium to reward their skills and dedication. Additionally, a few crucial positions were re-classified to offer additional compensation. Finally, in addition to better clarifying language throughout, the new contract also mandates that schedules be posted earlier, so members can have better control of their work-life balance.
Congratulations to the Negotiating Committee and our members on this colossal win! The committee consisted of UFCW Local 152 President Brian String, Executive Assistant to the President Daniel Konczyk, Director of Collective Bargaining Daniel Ross, Jr, Director of Field Services Joe Stathius, Director of Communications Mike Thompson, Union Representative Cary Lawson, and Union Representative Tom Hartle. It also included eleven incredible Shop Stewards: Lou Yacovelli, Bill Brennan, James Frick, Donna Heiler, Kim Broomell, Kathy Belford, Mary Fuller, Arthur Blomkvest, Ruth Spencer-Dunn, Michael Nicholas, and Dawn Bertino. Great job by all!
UFCW Local 152 represents over 1,200 retail clerks in Acme Markets, which includes members in the floral, grocery, and frozen foods departments, just to name a few. These stores are located in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and southern Ocean counties in New Jersey. Over the 129 years that Acme Markets has been in operation, they have remained dedicated to providing shoppers with a superior grocery experience customers have come to expect, all made possible by our proud UFCW Local 152 members!
See photos below of our members voting and attending the ratification meetings.