On Tuesday, October 20th, UFCW Local 152 Retail Clerk members who work at Bottino’s, Perlmart, and Village ShopRites stood together and overwhelmingly voted to ratify a new contract!
The four-year agreement introduces many improvements for these dedicated members, but perhaps most significantly, UFCW Local 152 was able to once again maintain no-cost-sharing of medical benefits for the lifetime of the contract. In other words, ShopRite Clerks will continue to pay nothing out-of-pocket for healthcare for four more years! As healthcare costs continue to skyrocket in our country during this period of uncertainty, this no-cost-sharing is without question a tremendous win for our members.
The new contract also establishes paid sick days for members, a brand new benefit made possible with the introduction of the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law. Effective upon ratification, ShopRite Retail Clerks can accrue up to 40 hours per year of paid sick time, which, if unused at the end of the year, can also be cashed out. This sick time is in addition to all other forms of paid time off that members currently receive.
Next, members will experience immediate, retroactive across-the-board wage increases, as well as additional across-the-board increases throughout the life of the contract. Most Department Heads and Classified Positions will also receive an increased premium to reward their commitment and skills. Finally, in addition to better-clarifying language throughout the contract, ShopRite has agreed to continue to contribute to the Pension Fund (for eligible employees) at an increased rate for the life of the agreement.
Congratulations to the Negotiating Committee and our members on this monumental win! The Negotiating Committee consisted of UFCW Local 152 President Brian String, Director of Collective Bargaining Daniel Ross, Jr, Director of Communications Mike Thompson, and Union Representative Carmine DelVicario.
It also included fourteen amazing Shop Stewards: Jodie Hampton-Veach, Maricella Brown, Betty-Ann Brown, William Pitts, Frank Farside, Charles Vitullo, Nancy Riess, Ed Stapleton, John Puesi, Bob Hawkins, Karen Drammissi, Christine Scherm, Diane Haug, and Kelli Wehmann. Negotiating in the middle of a pandemic was not easy, but the committee managed to practice safe social distancing during the process and at the ratification vote. Great job by all!
UFCW Local 152 represents over 2,100 retail clerks at ShopRite all over southern New Jersey, including members who work in the floral, grocery, and dairy departments, just to name a few. Since the 1940s, ShopRite “has grown into the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States and the largest employer in New Jersey,” according to the company’s website. Our UFCW Local 152 members are front and center of the business, and we are proud to represent you!
See photos below of our members voting and attending the ratification meetings held on October 20.