Welcome to UFCW Local 653
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 653 represents many jobs, including grocery store workers, nursing home employees, exposition services and paramedic ambulance employees. Strong, active and informed members are essential to the strength of your union. With the participation of our members, the union is able to gain for improved wages, benefits and working conditions. UFCW Local 653 is proud to offer members monthly newsletters, special events, tournaments, scholarships, ticket drawings and access to Ours Resort, Camp 653 and our Hall 653 banquet facility.
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Minneapolis Retail Contract Ratified
By Matt Utecht
On Sunday, March 3, 2013, a contract ratification vote was held at Hall 653. Over one thousand members of the Minneapolis Retail Meat and Grocery industry voted on and ratified a final offer that would:
(1) Be 12 months in length;
(2) Include maintenance of health and welfare with NO employee/member contributions;
(3) Have employers who did not open wage progressions on June 1, 2012, have wage progressions for part-time and full-time employees opened, and those employees will be given credit toward the wage progressions for all hours worked from June 1, 2012, through March 3, 2013, and will be placed at the appropriate rate of pay;
(4) Impose a one-year freeze on top-rated employees, but employers will have the option on a company-by-company basis to give pay increases to top-rated employees;
(5) Remove from the contract the letter requiring the Health and Welfare Board of Trustees to reduce benefits if reserves fall below six months.
The reason for such a short-term contract was the looming implementation of the Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as” Obama Care”) which is scheduled to begin taking effect in January of 2014.
When told about the January 2014 implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some members responded, “What does that have to do with our contract”? The problem quite simply is no one--from management or the union--has any idea of the magnitude of its coverage, its effect on our union’s Taft-Hartley fund, and perhaps most importantly what the costs will be. Some experts say it could be the beginning of the end of Health and Welfare funds like ours, others predict the costs of the ACA to be anywhere from more than our current Health and Welfare cost, to an equivalent cost, or even less cost than is paid today. The bottom line is that there are no concrete answers to any of these questions.
As a result of all this uncertainty, no employer was willing to go beyond a 12-month agreement, with the thought being that we should wait and see how this ACA affects us, and then we can bargain a contract with all the cards on the table—good, bad or indifferent.
Just a note to thank all who put together the great fishing tourney and Hot Dog picnic. It was a blast for my family and we won a lot of neat stuff. The grandkids are very happy and looking forward to our trip to Ours Resort next June. Thanks for being such a great union.