Hospitals & Asylums
In re: a $0.50 raise
1. BEA. September Personal Income Estimates. November 1, 2007. BEA-07-51
3. Cognis Corporation v. United Steel Workers of America 2007-Ohio-1489. March 30, 2007
4. In re Toledo City School Board of Education
5. International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 16 December 1966
6. State Employment Relations Board v. Queen City Lodge No. 69, Fraternal Order of Police Ohio 1st App. 2007-Ohio-5471. October 26, 2007
7. State ex rel Celebrezze v. Gibbs (1991), 60 Ohio St.3d 69, 75, 573 N.E.2d 62.
8. State v. Local Union 5760, United Steel Workers of America
1. 11,000 workers from Cincinnati and Dayton plan to go on strike from 77 stores at midnight November 1. Kroger employs 300,000 nationwide. In Cincinnati Stores Agreement Negotiations Update #24 the federal mediator requested that the company and the union negotiators return to the bargaining table to resume talks immediately. Both groups have agreed to do so. Kroger hopes to find a peaceful agreement as quickly as possible to keep working and continue to serve valued customers. Temporary workers will be hired and corporate office employees will staff the stores until the strike is over. It is rumored that the CEO Dave Dillon earned a $100 million bonus. The Kroger Co. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kroger (NYSE:KR) is one of the nation's largest grocery retailers, with fiscal 2006 sales of $66.1 billion. The Union is asking for quality, affordable health care, fair wages and a responsible benefits package.
2. On October 29, 2007 Kroger proposed improving the current health care plan at no added cost to associates, enhanced pharmacy coverage, enhancing pharmacy coverage for Maintenance medications for the most common chronic medical conditions (hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, osteoporosis and glaucoma) will be offered at a flat co-pay of $7/generic, $15/brand formulary, $25/ brand non-formulary. Associates are also eligible for the $4 generic prescriptions now offered in our Kroger pharmacies. Wage rate increases of $0.95/hour (department heads), $0.90/hour (assistant department heads) and $0.85 (top-rated clerks) over the life of the contract. The first-year increase will be retroactive to Oct. 6, 2007, if there is no work stoppage. New pay progressions based on hours worked; to enable workers to increase earnings faster. Elimination of the part-time wage cap. Part-time associates will be able to move to the same top wage rate as full-time associates. Increased company pension contributions will keep pensions secure. It needs to be added that the average striking employee also wants a $0.50 raise, so the Union canceled the contract extension and walked out. At midnight 1 November 11,000 workers plan to go on strike forfeiting their wages and benefits.
3. Whereas the Union has not demanded a raise for all employees a $0.50 cent raise is hereby introduced in hopes of breaking the strike before it starts out of a mutual concern for the lowest paid workers. Kroger workers are not alone, personal income increased $47.4 billion, or 0.4 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $40.6 billion, or 0.4 percent, in September, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $30.1 billion, or 0.3 percent. In August, personal income increased $52.8 billion, or 0.4 percent, DPI increased $48.6 billion, or 0.5 percent, and PCE increased $51.4 billion, or 0.5 percent, based on revised estimates BEA-07-51. Perhaps the contract renewal occurred in an un-auspicious month when the workers were not being respected. It is however November and it is time to give everyone a raise and get back to work.
4. Art. 7 of the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of December 16, 1966 provides for the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favorable conditions of work which ensure, in particular: Remuneration which provides all workers, as a minimum, with: Fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal; A decent living for themselves and their families; Safe and healthy working conditions; Equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted; Rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay, as well as remuneration for public holidays.
5. Art. 8 provides for the right of everyone to form and join trade unions of their choice, for the promotion and protection of their economic and social interests through collective bargaining. Art. 8(1)(d) provides for the right to strike. Unions must be careful to exercise the right to strike in conformity with the laws of country. In Cognis Corporation v. United Steel Workers of America 2007-Ohio-1489 of March 30, 2007 the Union was found in criminal contempt for violating the terms of their agreement regarding picketing. Decisions in contempt will not be reversed on appeal absent an abuse of discretion State ex rel Celebrezze v. Gibbs (1991), 60 Ohio St.3d 69, 75, 573 N.E.2d 62. In State v. Local Union 5760, United Steel Workers of America, the Ohio Supreme Court held that a labor union may be liable for contempt of court based upon the contemptuous acts of its union officials. In such case, the acts of such officials are deemed to be acts of the union.
6. Art. 12 provides for the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary for: (a) The provision for the reduction of the stillbirth-rate and of infant mortality and for the healthy development of the child; (b) The improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene; (c) The prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases; (d) The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness.
7. In re Toledo City School Board of Education is the controlling administrative precedent governing mid-term bargaining whereby a party cannot modify an existing contract without the negotiation and by agreement of both parties unless immediate action is required due to (1) exigent circumstances that were unseen at the time of negotiations or (2) legislative action taken by a higher-level legislative body after the agreement became effective that required a change to conform. Employers must not disregard the terms of their collective bargaining agreements whenever they find it convenient to do so. Employers should honor their contractual obligations to their employees just as employees must honor their contractual obligations to their employers pursuant to State Employment Relations Board v. Queen City Lodge No. 69, Fraternal Order of Police Ohio 1st App. 2007-Ohio-5471 of October 26, 2007.
8. Negotiations have stalled. The offer of 29 October was turned down. The workers plan to go on strike at midnight. Negotiators are recommended to take immediate action on the $0.50 wage increase. Wage rate increases of $0.95/hour for department heads, $0.90/hour for assistant department heads and $0.85 for top-rated clerks does not appease Union voters. For Corporate to convince the Union before the strike it is suggested to offer everyone a $0.50 raise, a cost of $5,500 an hour. It would not be contemptuous for the Union to demand a $0.50 raise. Can Union and Corporate negotiators reach an agreement before midnight by sweetening the healthy deal of 29 October to include a $0.50 hourly raise for all 11,000 Cincinnati and Dayton employees not already covered by this contract?
Sanders, Tony J.