The following is from Teamsters Local 174:
TUKWILA, Wash. (Aug. 29, 2022) — Teamsters delivering groceries for Safeway.com throughout the Puget Sound area unanimously ratified a strong new three-year contract last week, successfully beating back an effort by Safeway.com management to outsource the entire grocery delivery business to third party subcontractors.
The life-changing new contract will cover more than 120 members from Teamster Locals 174 and 313, and solves many of the most stubborn challenges facing the group. In addition to major improvements in economics and work protections, the new Agreement – and the process of reaching it – provides a blueprint for success against other Teamster employers who are looking to buy their way out of a Union contract by converting Teamster work to the gig economy that uses nonunion “independent contractors” instead.
One of the most substantial victories for workers is the strong new language protecting delivery drivers’ work from subcontracting, as the contract guarantees a minimum number of Teamster jobs. Another huge victory in the contract is new language regarding tipping, which will henceforth not only be allowed but will also be encouraged by the company. While nearly all other home delivery service workers are tipped by customers, Safeway.com drivers had previously been barred from accepting any tips. This major change has the potential to dramatically improve workers’ hourly take-home pay. The new contract also includes strong wage and pension increases, stronger seniority provisions in route selection, dramatic improvements in safety, and an additional holiday of MLK Day.
“When Safeway.com management first came to the bargaining table, their goal was to get rid of us entirely and use DoorDash and other third party gig workers to deliver groceries, but we stopped them in their tracks,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks, who added:
“They came in with a strong position to eliminate our Teamster members completely, even offering at one point up to 52 weeks of separation pay. Once management realized they were not going to be successful in their mission, they stepped up and worked with us to deliver this incredible new contract that protects our members on the job while also rewarding them for the hard work they performed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We are proud of our members for standing strong and having confidence in their bargaining committee, which led to this strong contract that will benefit them for many years to come. We also thank IBT Warehouse Division Director Tom Erickson, and Teamsters Local 162 Secretary-Treasurer Bob Sleight, for backing us 100% in this fight. We were in constant contact with them throughout this process and received tremendous support.”
“This contract is a testament to the power of solidarity,” said Teamsters Local 313 Secretary-Treasurer Nick Lansdale. “Our members stood together with the members of Local 174, Local 162, and the Teamsters International, and spoke loudly with one voice telling Safeway.com we would not let them outsource our work. Thankfully the company heard us, and the result is a strong contract our members were proud to ratify unanimously.”
Are you ready for a life-changing Union contract? Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!