Bargaining Update November 2023

On November 9th, New Seasons Labor Union and New Seasons Market met to bargain for eight hours at Lloyd Center. Having previously reached tentative agreement on reasonable seating, labor-management committees, non-discrimination and harassment, force majeure, and severability, Thursday’s bargaining began by reviewing the status of all proposals still under negotiation. As we are still in active negotiations over most issues, we were hopeful that this quick recap of our contract progress would be helpful in highlighting where we are at in negotiations.


Attendance Rules to Improve
The most significant development during the session was NSM presenting NSLU with an altered Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) regarding the attendance policy. This MOA accepts a 6-month attendance policy at union stores. While this stopgap measure does not solve the main problems of the existing policy, it is a substantial improvement that members have been fighting for for over 6 months.


NSM requested that NSLU withdraw the Unfair Labor Practice complaints filed about the company’s discriminatory refusal to sign earlier in this process. In response, NSLU's bargaining team conveyed that they would agree to withdraw charges only if NSM offered discriminatorily terminated employees their jobs back. New Seasons refused to do so, so all language about withdrawing charges was dropped from the agreement. NSLU will continue to pursue action with the NLRB to reinstate those workers with back pay.


With this stopgap measure in effect, NSLU will continue to negotiate a more reasonable long-term policy at the bargaining table.


6-Month Rule Effective Immediately
The MOA signed by New Seasons and NSLU regarding attendance means that future attendance occurrences will only be cause for escalated discipline if less than 6 months have passed since the most recent attendance incident - down from 12 months. This policy change was implemented at non-union stores after NSLU started organizing around the attendance issue, and is now consistent across the company.


Union Recognized
Additionally, during this bargaining session, NSLU and NSM reached a tentative agreement on the article regarding Recognition. This agreement simply clarifies which employees at NSLU-represented stores will be covered by the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). This agreement follows the MOA signed in September, which included Store Chefs as union members starting on November 1st.

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