Teamsters Fight to Unify Membership, Improve Benefits for All
After another marathon negotiation session that went into early Saturday morning, the Teamsters Local 710 Jewel Bargaining Committee reached a strong tentative agreement for both the driver and warehouse contracts covering more than 1,000 workers.
“The bargaining committee did a phenomenal job of holding the company to the fire and advocating for the best interests of the members,” said John T. Coli, Trustee of Local 710 and Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “We have a tentative agreement that we’re proud to bring back to the membership, as it does reflect their hard work and sacrifices they’ve made in previous contracts.”
Negotiations began at 10 a.m. Feb. 26. The company started by submitting their proposals and said they wanted to reach a deal by the end of the day, pending the acceptance of a 21-day extension agreement. Initially, management’s proposal showed movement but continued to ignore the issues the membership felt were strike-worthy.
The Bargaining Committee worked diligently for the next four hours to craft a last, best and final offer they felt the membership would strike over. The company responded a couple hours later with “supposals” rather than a formal written proposal. Both parties proceeded to bargain until a tentative agreement was reached at 1:50 a.m.
“Throughout negotiations, we worked hard to make sure that all groups were treated fairly in our new agreement,” said Jewel warehouse steward Mike Cioe. “This time around, there was not any group considered as a sacrificial lamb. We stuck together to build unity among the membership.”
Coli applauded the Bargaining Committee’s role in the negotiation process.
“It was the transparency and openness with our members in communicating throughout bargaining that got us to such an unprecedented agreement,” Coli said. “We ensured that management did the right thing, and they came to a fair agreement that shows new appreciation for their hardworking employees.”
Members are scheduled to take a ratification vote March 6.
Teamsters Local 727 is preparing to begin negotiations with Jewel-Osco management on a new contract for more than 500 Chicago-area pharmacists. The first bargaining date is scheduled for April 12.
Category: Union News