New contract includes pay hikes for Giant Eagle workers at corporate stores
Union workers in 35 corporate-owned Giant Eagle stores in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia will see wage increases and improved benefits under a new three-year contract.
About 5,5oo Giant Eagle employees represented by United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1776 Keystone State overwhelmingly approved the labor agreement in a ratifying vote Wednesday and Thursday .
The contract, which is retroactive to July 1, increases the hourly starting rate for workers from $8.25 or $8.75 to $10, according to Local 1776 spokesman Tony Helfer. That rate will go up to $11 in two years.
Workers who have been on the job for four years or more will receive an annual raise of 50 cents, Helfer said.
“It’s a phenomenal financial settlement,” he said. “It’s the best we’ve had in 40 years.”
He said it will benefit current and future employees at the supermarkets.
“The ratification of the agreement by the team members it directly impacts is both exciting and gratifying, and it helps ensure that our customers receive the highest quality service,” said Dan Shapira, Giant Eagle special counsel.
Workers will continue to receive medical coverage without weekly payroll contributions and will see improvements in their eye, dental, life, disability and 401K benefits, under the new contract.
Giant Eagle also has committed to creating 60 full-time jobs and to “improved coverage during busiest periods to better meet customer needs,” according to a joint press release issued by the union and the company.