As Company Attempts to Subcontract Work, Teamsters Fight Back and Win
(SEATTLE) – Teamsters delivering groceries for Safeway.com throughout the Puget Sound area have unanimously ratified a strong new three-year contract, successfully beating back an effort by the company to outsource the entire grocery delivery business to third-party subcontractors. The life-changing new contract will solve many of the previous challenges for more than 120 members at Teamsters Locals 174, 162, and 313 who are covered under the agreement.
In addition to major improvements to economics and workplace protections, the new contract secures Teamster work against an exploitative independent contractor model.
“When Safeway.com management first came to the bargaining table, their goal was to get rid of us entirely by using DoorDash and other third-party gig workers to deliver groceries, but we stopped them in their tracks,” said Rick Hicks, Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer. “They came in with a strong position to eliminate our Teamster members completely, at one point even offering 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.”
Another major accomplishment in the contract is new language regarding tipping, which will now be allowed and encouraged by the company. 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 the additional holiday of MLK Day.
“This contract is a testament to the power of solidarity,” said Nick Lansdale, Teamsters Local 313 Secretary-Treasurer. “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.”
“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 percent in this fight,” Hicks added. “We were in constant contact with them throughout this process and received tremendous support.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.