Giant and Safeway workers approve new contract, avoid strike

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Giant and Safeway workers approve new contract, avoid strike

After extended negotiations for a pension plan that was initially rejected by Giant and Safeway worker's union, the privately owned grocer announced it's deal appealed to workers, halting plans for a strike, reports the Baltimore Sun.

Averting the potential strike, Safeway workers made an agreement with managers to approve the contract that dictates pension details. Represented in the United food and Commerical Worker's union are 25,000 workers across the states of Maryland, Virginia and Washington.

"We were able to reach an agreement with UFCW Locals 400 and 27 early this morning that recognizes our employees for their hard work on behalf of the compnay," commented Beth Goldberg of Safeway's Eastern division.

The union's recommendation of the proposed contract put an end to six months worth of negotiations. In the deal includes full pension benefits for retired workers and current employees in Giant and assures that worker's wages increase.

The new contract also expands health benefits for part-time workers for Giant and Safeway. Reason for the contention had to do with workers seeing that their employer may not have followed through with promised pensions.

On Feb. 19, union workers recommended that Safeway workers reject an earlier offer proposed by management because it claimed that the retailer refused to pay fully funded pensions.

In particular, the contract requires Safeway to make pension contributions by US$18.6m per year - US$74.4m over four years of the agreement. It also increases wages by US$49.5m for the first year and by US$8.8m by the second year.

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