Joe Duffle

Presidents Report - Spring 2024

Looking ahead, we see more work to do as we build an even stronger union

A union’s work is never done. This is especially true for UFCW Local 1167, a union that represents workers in a wide variety of businesses and industries.

For example, we are already preparing for negotiations with the major supermarket chains, where the current Master Food Agreement is set to expire in 2025.

We never expect our contract negotiations to be easy, and this coming round is no exception. We’ve worked hard over several decades to win the wages, benefits, vacations and workplace conditions that our members appreciate and workers at non-union chains wish they could have.

In the previous round of negotiations, we were able to win the biggest raises I’ve seen in all my years in this industry, but there is still more work to be done. This time around, we will be as committed as ever to negotiate the best possible contract, which we will then submit to the members for their review and ratification.

In the meantime, we are entering into talks with Rite Aid, CVS and Food 4 Less — all companies which have resisted contract improvements in the past. We expect they will do so again, but that will not deter us as we press ahead on behalf of our members.

Negotiations also are scheduled to begin soon with JBS, the Brazilian meat processing giant where more than 400 dedicated and hardworking union members earn their livelihoods.

And there’s still more on the horizon, with contracts coming due at cannabis shops, pharmacies, offices and other workplaces across our jurisdiction. In each case, our members will need the support of their union sisters and brothers to ensure they get the fair and equitable contracts they deserve.

Our success will depend largely on the unity of our membership. Please do your part by speaking positively about your union at home and especially at the workplace. Wear your union buttons and stickers on the job and let management know you stand with your co-workers every inch of the way.

Also, please stay informed about the negotiations, get engaged and be ready to respond to your union’s calls for action. Depending on how our talks go with the employers, we may need your participation in rallies, informational picketing, handbill events and other activities.

Organizing is crucial

Our union does more than negotiate contracts. A key part of our mission is to recruit new workers at additional workplaces so they too can enjoy the benefits of union membership.

Having more members means having more resources that enable us to bargain on a stronger footing with all of the employers.

Over the past year we’ve been organizing cannabis retail stores. We currently have 18 stores we represent in our jurisdiction (see page 6), and have more that we are in the process of organizing. These retail shops are legitimate and legal businesses, and we support the people who work in them and everyone else who wants a better life at work.

Never forget that YOU are the union, and that every time you help a fellow union member, you are helping yourself.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!

UFCW LOCAl 1167 President
Joe Duffle

(909) 877-5000 ext 150