On Tuesday, November 30th, UFCW Local 152 members at Berks Packing, Inc. in Reading, Pennsylvania ratified a new three-year union contract!
Members at Berks Packing bargained for a very strong economic package. A tiered wage structure had been part of this contract for many years, but by capitalizing on the current market, the Union Negotiating Committee was finally able to put an end to the two-tiered system! Members who were in the former 2nd tier will now move to top tier wages. In addition to the elimination of tiered wages, healthy increases to brackets, across-the-boards, and shift differentials rounded out the wage package.
All members with more than one year of service will continue to receive 100% employer-paid union healthcare! Additionally, the weekly insurance cost-share for members with less than a year was drastically reduced. To reward longevity, a “bonus day program” was established; with this new program, long-term members will receive up to three additional personal days per year based on their length of service.
All of this was achieved by labor and management sharing a common goal: to recruit, retain, and reward hardworking folks that make a business profitable — a simple concept that sadly is not always easily achieved. A worker’s right to organize and bargain collectively gives workers a “seat at the table” and a real say in their future. Kudos to Berks Packing for their willingness to listen to the needs of our members and making significant investments into their workforce.
Congratulations to our members and the Negotiating Committee, which included Director of Collective Bargaining Dan Ross, Union Representative Greg Torian, Chief Shop Steward Paul Covach, Shop Steward Chad Ruth, and Committee Member Dave Peppers. Great job by all!
UFCW Local 152 represents more than eighty workers at Berks Packing. Our members work in production and produce Berks-branded franks, hams, ring bologna, sausage, bacon, and deli meats including ham, roast beef, and turkey breast for Wawa Food Markets.