UFCW Local 555 Prematurely Cancels Extension

UFCW Local 555 provided notice to the company on November 18 that it was withdrawing the contract extension and it would expire on November 28, 2021.

This is premature and extremely concerning as to why the union has taken this course of action. We had been making progress in negotiations and have come to a tentative agreement on safety which has been the union’s focus on the limited number of dates that they have offered the company to bargain. Neither the company nor union have made any economic proposals yet.

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Bargaining Resumes with UFCW Local 555 – Discussions on Workplace Safety

The company and union bargaining committees met this week to continue discussions for your new contract.

We discussed the union’s proposal regarding shootings, other violent attacks, and emergencies at stores as well as a proposal on emergency provisions. The well-being of our associates and customers is a top priority, every day. We shared with Local 555 that we continually and substantially invest in training and in various other safety measures. In fact, Fred Meyer associates underwent a significant personal safety training program within the past six months. Most of you will recall taking this training recently.

Unfortunately, such violent incidents and other emergency events are unpredictable, very situational, and can happen at any time and anywhere. Because of this, there isn’t going to be a one size fits all plan that applies to and can address any and every single situation. Instead, they must be confronted and dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Emergencies are dynamic in nature and their circumstances are fluid and fast changing. Having fixed and inflexible language in a collective bargaining agreement prescribing that all such situations are to be handled in the same uniform way ignores that reality and would limit our ability to address such crises, if they occur, in real time and in a manner appropriately tailored to the particular circumstances. We informed the union that if such a thing occurs in one of our workplaces our response would include open discussion and dialogue with you and your union.

One thing is certain and evident: We care about our associates and we and our larger family of companies have supported associates when a tragedy or an emergency situation has occurred, and we always will.

Nevertheless, we heard your union’s concerns and presented a proposal to address safety and emergency issues that may arise in the workplace, which included language around policies, processes and working conditions; associate leave; and the creation of store-level safety committees and a master safety committee. While we didn’t reach a tentative agreement on our safety proposal during our sessions, the company and union bargaining committees had some good dialogue and will continue our discussions during our next bargaining dates later this month.

We will keep you up to date as we have more information to share. Updates will be posted on www.fredmeyercba.com and through your store leader.

Thank you for all that you do for our customers, our communities, and each other.