On Wednesday, January 26th, 2022, more than seventy members at Barry Callebaut in Pennsauken, New Jersey ratified a strong new union contract!
The new three-year agreement will introduce many dramatic improvements. Firstly, all members will receive three sizable wage increases throughout the life of the contract, the first of which will be retroactive to December 2021. In addition to these raises, the shift differential and training premiums have increased to $1.00 per hour.
Through hard bargaining, these union members will maintain their Union Fund-provided health insurance plan with very marginal increases through the life of the agreement.
Our members at Barry Callebaut will now have Juneteenth added as a paid holiday. Language was established to add paid sick leave for all members. This sick leave language allows members to use their time for any reason as outlined by the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave law. In the event that a member stays healthy throughout the year, they will be able to “cash out” any unused sick time they have earned.
This contract also increases shop steward rights. Now, up to five stewards will be granted “super seniority” for temporary and/or seasonal layoffs. Furthermore, they will now be entitled one day per year to attend Local 152 conferences or other union activities.
Finally, this agreement introduces the concept of a new member orientation, where union representatives or shop stewards will now have designated time to meet new members and properly introduce them to UFCW Local 152. Since many new members have never worked union positions before, these orientations are crucially important to teach new workers about the union difference. At orientation, new members will learn about their collective bargaining agreement, the benefits of their contract, what union representation means, and of course the many benefits and discounts available as a union member.
Congratulations to our members and the hardworking Negotiating Committee, which included Director of Collective Bargaining Dan Ross, Union Representative Matte Kane, Lead Counsel Mark Belland, Shop Steward Jerry Cheever, Christian Algan, Jose L Mercado, Pete Feliche, and Jose Polanco.
UFCW Local 152 represents members in production, warehouse, and maintenance at Barry Callebaut in Pennsauken, NJ, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products.
Below are some photos taken at the ratification meeting on January 26th.