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NEWS & UPDATES

We encourage our associates, customers and other members of our communities to stay up to date on how we are working together for a better future.

March 5, 2020:  Giant Associates Ratify New Contract Agreement with UFCW

Giant Food today announced it has reached a new collective bargaining agreement with UFCW Locals 400 and 27, as ratified by union members this morning.  Working together with the unions, we have enhanced industry-leading compensation and benefits – importantly protecting healthcare and retirement – while at the same time ensuring the continued viability of our business and the jobs it provides to our 16,500 union associates.  

Our goal was to reach a fair and reasonable contract that respects our 84-year legacy as a great local brand, honors our associates’ contributions and reflects our competitive realities.  We are pleased we have achieved this goal.

Giant Food is proud to have successfully negotiated more than 30 collective bargaining agreements with the UFCW over the past 20 years. 

 

February 19, 2020: Tentative Agreement

Giant Food is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with UFCW Locals 400 and 27.  Working together with the union, we have enhanced the industry-leading compensation and benefits earned by our associates – importantly protecting healthcare and retirement – while at the same time ensuring the continued viability of our business and the jobs it provides to our 16,500 union associates.  Additional details will be provided in the coming  weeks.  

Giant Food would like to recognize our associates, who throughout negotiations demonstrated uncompromising dedication and service to our stores and our customers.  We appreciate their commitment and hard work, and believe this agreement continues to honor our associates for their contributions to our success, while reflecting the economic needs of the business and competitive realities facing the company.

Giant Food is proud to have successfully negotiated more than 30 collective bargaining agreements with the UFCW over the past 20 years. 

 

February 6, 2020: Bargaining Update 

Since our last update in November, we have not provided a detailed report simply because not much has happened at the bargaining table.  Most of our bargaining proposals have been pending with UFCW Locals 400 and 27 since late November 2019.

Unfortunately, we now need to address several false assertions about Giant Food’s bargaining position that the unions posted on their websites on February 4, 2020.  

Unions’ February 4, 2020 website claims about Giant Food’s pension proposals:

          “· Eliminating promise to secure pension benefits”

          “· Cuts to future pension benefits”

The truth is that before Thanksgiving of last year, Giant Food had agreed to all of the fundamentals in the unions’ pension proposals.  That fact was conveyed in the below November 23, 2019 bargaining update.  Giant Food’s proposed level of pension funding commitments are now at an unprecedented level, and they fully meet the unions’ request that Giant Food help save our associates’ pension fund and provide future pension benefits.  Giant Food has not retracted or reduced those promises.  We have no idea why the unions are making these false claims about Giant Food.

As we communicated just before Thanksgiving, Giant Food’s proposal to the unions was to more than double our annual pension costs in order to secure our associates’ retirement – now and for decades to come.  That November pension proposal represents the single largest labor expense in our company’s history.  

Also, in November, Giant Food offered wage increases that would keep our associates among the highest-paid grocery workers in the Baltimore-Washington area.  

The unions’ web post includes a number of other significant, obvious inaccuracies about Giant Food’s other bargaining proposals as it relates to healthcare and wage increases.  However, we don’t see the benefit of reacting to those inaccuracies at this time because we believe it is more constructive for the parties to work together at the bargaining table, rather than through web posts.

Please know that we remain committed to reaching the right deal for all involved — a deal that benefits both Giant Food associates and our business now and into the future — because we know our success depends on the positive impact our associates have on the customers and communities we serve.  We want to reach a comprehensive agreement, including the essential pension rescue plan, now.

 

November 23, 2019: Update – Continued Negotiations

Giant Food and UFCW Locals 400 and 27 continue to negotiate the terms of a new contract. We have made significant progress on certain important aspects of the deal, but on other important aspects, the parties still have work to do. Giant Food has put forward comprehensive proposals that enhance our associates’ already industry-leading compensation and benefits. And most importantly, our proposals protect retirement.

The Food Employers Labor Relations Association (FELRA) multi-employer and UFCW pension plan is facing insolvency despite the fact that Giant Food has always paid all of the contributions required under our collective bargaining agreements. A significant factor contributing to the plan’s insolvency is that numerous employers withdrew from the plan, primarily due to bankruptcy and because of the excessive cost of participating in the plan. As part of our comprehensive proposals, Giant Food is committing to an unprecedented agreement on pensions that would provide significant funding to the FELRA and UFCW pension plan and, most importantly, prevent the looming loss of earned pension benefits. If we can complete a full contract, this new pension structure will provide pension benefit security for Giant Food associates and retirees for decades to come.

Giant Food’s current proposal on pensions represents the largest labor expense increase in our history. We expect that our annual pension costs under this pension security agreement will more than double. This is an enormous labor expense that is paid by none of the competitors that have rapidly expanded in the Baltimore/Washington retail food market, except for Safeway. Nonetheless, Giant Food has proposed to make this significant investment in our associates’ pension security.

We remain at the bargaining table, and are committed to taking all the time necessary to reach a deal. With further flexibility on both sides, we hope to reach timely, complete agreements including the essential pension rescue plan.

 

October 25, 2019: Update – Extension

While Giant Food’s existing contract with UFCW Locals 400 and 27 expires at midnight on October 26, we are continuing to negotiate with the unions who represent our 16,500 associates. To aid in these negotiations, Giant and the unions have agreed to an extension of the contracts. Our stores will operate as normal and our associates will continue to work during the extension.

We appreciate that some topics for negotiation this year are difficult. While there are no easy solutions, it is important to know that our goal is to best protect the compensation and benefits earned by Giant Food associates while at the same time ensuring the continued viability of our business and the jobs it provides to our 16,500 union associates working today and into the future. We are committed to working together with the UFCW to solve for these challenges together and in the best interests of all involved and we welcome the federal mediator to assist in this process. Giant Food is proud to have successfully negotiated 30 collective bargaining agreements with the UFCW over the past 20 years.

Giant Food put forward comprehensive economic and non-economic proposals last week and has negotiated with the unions about those proposals throughout this week. Giant Food will continue to bargain in good faith, and looks forward to achieving a fair contract that continues to: recognize our associates’ contributions and commitment; provide our associates with opportunities for growth and advancement; enable Giant Food to be a great place to work and have a sustainable business; and reward our associates for doing what they do best – provide exceptional customer service.

 

September 11, 2019: Statement - Negotiations

With negotiations officially beginning Friday, Giant Food is committed to working with the UFCW to solve for challenges together and in the best interests of all involved.  We have always enjoyed a collaborative relationship with UFCW Locals 400 and 27, and are committed to bargaining in good faith. Giant Food looks forward to achieving a fair contract that continues to:  recognize our associates’ contributions and commitment; provide our associates with opportunities for growth and advancement; enable Giant Food to be a great place to work and have a sustainable business; and reward our associates for doing what they do best – provide exceptional customer service.

 

Giant Food in the News