Giant Eagle’s 5,500 corporate store associates working in 35 of the Pittsburgh-based retailer’s locations in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia overwhelmingly approved a new three-year contract negotiated on their behalf by United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1776 Keystone State.
Highlights of the new contract, which was tentatively ratified in mid-July, is retroactive to the expiration date and includes increases to starting and hourly wages, improved benefits, a signing bonus and stronger anti-discrimination language, said Wendell Young IV, president of UFCW 1776 Keystone State, in a statement when the deal was approved.
Specific highlights of the new labor pacts include:
- A starting wage rate increase to $10 per hour, which increases to $11 per hour in two years.
- Wage increases for current and future associates in each year of the contract.
- Continuation of medical coverage without any weekly payroll contributions.
- Improvements in eye, dental, life, disability and 401(k) benefits.
- Contract changes to enhance and encourage career advancement.
- A company commitment to add more than 60 full-time jobs.
- Signing bonuses.
- Stronger nondiscrimination language.
- Modification to full-time work weeks.
- 401(k) improvements.
- Increases in legal benefits.
- Bereavement leave improvement.
- An increase in the minimum hours per week for part-time employees.
“I am proud of the hard work and commitment of our bargaining committee. Through months of negotiations, our committee remained steadfast and ensured all key issues were addressed,” said Young.
“Contract negotiations can be tough, but both sides here were able to reach across the table and shake hands on a fair contract that, for our members, ensures strong wages and great benefits, while working with the company to provide the best customer service possible," he said. "This is a very good result for our members, customers and the company.”
UFCW 1776 Western Division Director Tony Helfer spoke highly of the “solid contract,” which “will greatly benefit all current and future Giant Eagle members ... who have spoken volumes with their votes. We are pleased with this contract and the overall energy from both sides of the table.”
In a statement, Giant Eagle Special Counsel Dan Shapira commended “the collaborative spirit that the Local 1776 Keystone State leadership team brought to the bargaining table. The ratification of the agreement by the team members it directly impacts is both exciting and gratifying, and it helps ensure that our customers receive the highest-quality service.”
The multiformat Giant Eagle has more than 400 locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and Maryland. UFCW Local 1776 KS represents more than 30,000 members, including supermarket workers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York.