(SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine) – Teamster drivers and mechanics at Shaw’s Distribution Center in Wells, Maine, overwhelmingly ratified their first contract on October 24.
The 79 members work for Shaw’s, delivering product to Shaw’s grocery stores throughout New England.
The group sought union representation and now has a new two-year contract that provides a grievance process; seniority rights in regards to bidding routes and work schedules; and guaranteed pay increases in each year of the contract. The group had not received any wage increases in the past four years.
“Congratulations to our negotiating team. They proved to be knowledgeable, courageous and united. They should be proud of their work,” said Brett Miller, President of Local 340. “They endured months of anti-union tactics and pressure, but never gave in.”
Business Agent Joe Piccone recognized the determination of the negotiating committee: Michael McCaffrey, David Collard, Irene Perham, John DeSilvia, Bruce Violante and Lynda Hoffses.
“It was their perseverance that secured the new agreement,” Piccone said.
The campaign at Shaw’s originally began in 2015 when the workers attempted to organize two Shaw’s locations in Massachusetts and Maine. After more than two years of legal wrangling at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an election was scheduled for the drivers and mechanics at the Shaw’s Maine location. The group voted to join Local 340 in March 2017. Shaw’s legal delays ended in January 2018, when the NLRB ruled that the unit was valid. Bargaining began in April 2018.
Shaw’s Supermarkets is Maine’s 11th-largest private employer, with between 2,000 and 2,500 workers, according to the Maine Department of Labor. In 2013 it was acquired by AB Acquisition, also the parent company of supermarket chains Albertson’s and Safeway. Shaw’s operates 154 stores throughout New England.
Teamsters Local 340 represents 4,000 workers at public and private employers throughout the state of Maine.