On Monday, October 12th, UFCW Local 152 members at Goya Foods in Jersey City, New Jersey came together and made a nearly unanimous decision to ratify a new contract!
The five-year agreement has introduced many improvements for our hardworking members. The members at Goya Foods – Jersey City charged the committee with the daunting task of trying to keep their pandemic hazard pay in perpetuity. Through a series of hard bargaining, the new agreement gave all members a $2.00 increase to their base rate! Additionally, members will receive respectable wage increases through the life of the contract as well as retroactive increases for certain rates positions.
Goya Foods agreed to increase the company’s yearly benefits contribution through the life of the agreement in order to maintain the negotiated quality health insurance benefits, which includes prepaid legal benefits for most members.
The committee bargained to start participating in the UFCW Local 152 Savings Plan. Goya Foods agreed to make guaranteed monthly contributions on behalf of every member with more than one year of service. Members can also elect to contribute to the plan themselves if they choose to. These additional voluntary contributions will help our members secure a safe and steady retirement.
In compliance with the New Jersey Sick Leave Law, all members will now receive at least 40 hours (or 5 days) of sick time each year. These days can also be cashed out if unused at the end of the year. Finally, language was added throughout the contract to better define various articles.
Congratulations to our members and the Negotiating Committee! This included Director of Collective Bargaining Dan Ross, Executive Director Danette Montes-Palmore, Shop Stewards Lepido Gonzalez and Eduardo Beltran, and members Abner Rosario and Teodoro Rodriguez. The committee was represented at the table by David Watkins, Esq who offered tremendous value and insight to the committee during negotiation sessions. It’s not easy negotiating during a pandemic, but our committee managed to practice safe social distancing during negotiations and the contract ratification process.
UFCW Local 152 proudly represents about two hundred members at the Goya Foods facility in Jersey City, NJ, the “premier source for authentic Latino cuisine [and is] the largest, Hispanic-owned food company in the United States,” according to their company website. Products made by these members can be found all over the nation and include canned beans, sauces, rice, frozen products, and much more.
Below are some photos of our members voting at the ratification meeting.