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Sun Mar 22, 2020, 06:41 AM

UFCW 655, grocery chains negotiate sweeping employee benefit changes in wake of coronavirus

Missouriís largest private-sector union and the grocery chains employing their partners are making significant changes to their Health & Welfare benefits to provide additional protections to workers adversely impacted by the growing coronavirus outbreak Local 655 President David Cook announced Monday.

United Food and Commercial Workers represents about 9,500 partners in the eastern half of the state. The overwhelming majority of these workers are employed at grocery stores like Schnucks, Dierbergs, and Straubs.

After extensive conversations with employers about their mutual desire to protect their hard-working employees during these uncertain times, the following changes have been made by the UFCW Local 655 Health & Welfare Fund:

All copays for coronavirus tests will be waived.
Increase in short-term disability benefits for partners that become ill with COVID-19.
All partners who become ill with COVID-19 will maintain 90% of their current pay.
Union dues and fees will be waived for all new employees for 45 days to allow employers to hire extra workers .
New telemedicine benefits for all partners with zero out-of-pocket costs.

https://labortribune.com/ufcw-655-grocery-chains-negotiate-sweeping-employee-benefit-changes-in-wake-of-coronavirus/

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Reply UFCW 655, grocery chains negotiate sweeping employee benefit changes in wake of coronavirus (Original post)
Sherman A1 Mar 2020 OP
Steve.in.AZ Mar 2020 #1
Sherman A1 Mar 2020 #2
Steve.in.AZ Mar 2020 #3

Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2020, 02:23 AM

1. clarification?

This sounds like really good news for workers and their families, but the story is a little vague about who's paying for the new benefits. It says there were talks between the union and employers, but the changes are are being made by the UFCW Local 655 Health & Welfare Fund. Does that mean the union is paying? If so, it seems one-sided.

Thanks for any clarification you can offer.

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Response to Steve.in.AZ (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 26, 2020, 05:41 AM

2. The H&W fund is jointly administrated by the trustees

That group represents both employers and union officials. H&W is funded by the employers with a contribution for each hour worked by union members. Any major changes to expenditures must be agreed to by the trustees before being implemented.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 26, 2020, 09:02 AM

3. That makes sense

Thanks for clarifying. Sounds like a win for the workers!

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