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Giant, Safeway workers' union approves new contract

Tuesday - 12/17/2013, 4:48pm  ET

Members of the local union that represents more than 17,000 Giant Food and Safeway grocery store workers in the D.C. region have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the grocers.

The agreement, ratified Tuesday by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, maintains health benefits for all current employees and "most future employees," according to a statement from the union.

Grocery workers will receive an average of an additional $3.35 per hour in compensation during the next three years under the contract. That includes wages, health, pension and other benefits.

“This is one of the best retail food contracts in the country,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. "…Giant and Safeway will pay all benefits in full through the life of the contract and our members’ pensions will be properly funded."

The existing contract expired at the end of October and was extended twice while the two sides continued negotiations. The new agreement will expire Oct. 29, 2016.

"We are very pleased our associates voted to approve new labor contracts that will bring stability and security to them and their families for the next three years," said Jamie Miller, spokesman for Giant Food. "Throughout negotiations, our goal was to reach fair and reasonable contracts that respect our legacy and honor our associates’ contributions, while also recognizing our competitive realities."

A request for comment from Safeway was not immediately returned.

© 2013 American City Business Journals, Inc.