I hope this finds you well and ready for 2019 - we are at 876! 2018 turned out to be one of the most progressive to date; making it even more exciting to start the New Year. The 876 team is in constant motion monitoring and protecting the contractual guarantees surrounding your jobs, benefits, hours and livelihoods. And we all have really enjoyed advocating for you and your families.
In January, a class action grievance was filed on behalf of 559 Kroger, union members who had not qualified for health care benefits in the look back. This was settled favorably in March and benefits were restored.
In October, a case went before the Supreme Court to protect member power and the integrity of the union membership application; which builds bargaining power. Despite current, political tides, counsel was successful in defending this important document. And, as the new year begins to unfold, I am certainly a witness to the power it provides when negotiating contracts.
In 2018, we held 19 Membership Advantage events, 11 Pension Open Houses, seven Union Steward trainings and conferences and four general membership events - that's 41 opportunities we have had to meet up and catch up. It's been great meeting so many of you from conference halls to bowling alleys to the Motor City Casino. Our conversations are a significant part of how the union determines the best course of action.
UFCW 876 was also able to meet with The Kroger Company on several issues we felt warranted addressing to protect the jobs and hours of membership. . And, we successfully secured not only a dual settlement for Clicklist Leads and Clerks; but also for Drug GM Managers. Although these are unrelated in theory and results, these were both big wins for 876 members.
And most recently we have reached solid agreements for members working at Dearborn Sausage, Grupo Antolin and Turri's Italian Foods.
One of the most fundamental building blocks of your strength is the 876 Organizing Department. They work in the field everyday, networking and building relationships with workers who want a better life. Their job is to educate others on the benefits of joining a union and to build membership. And as you already know, workers that decide to join UFCW 876 make every one of us even stronger. More members mean more power and more influence at the bargaining table. It lets employers know workers have rights and the leverage to ask for a work life that is reasonable and fair.
We have plenty of educational and training opportunities on the 2019 calendar for Stewards. A Lunch & Learn Series has been developed as well as the Annual Steward Conferences, see schedule in "Steward Lunch & Learn" link.
I look forward to talking, networking and training up with you in 2019.
Together we can do this!