PCC Offers to Provide Appreciation Pay to All Union Workers

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The PCC Community Markets store located in the Ballard Neighborhood. Image courtesy of PCC.

Seattle, WA—PCC Community Markets (PCC) announced that it has submitted a proposal to the United Foods and Commercial Workers Local 21 (UFCW Local 21) that would institute a $4 per hour temporary appreciation pay for all union-represented staff in the Puget Sound area — not just those in locations with regional hazard pay ordinances. PCC is asking for certain noneconomic concessions in exchange, but noted that at the time the news release was issued (February 4, 2021), the co-op and the union had been unable to reach a final decision.

“Staff members are the heart of the co-op,” said PCC CEO and President, Suzy Monford, in the release. “The PCC leadership team, Board of Trustees and I remain focused on doing what’s right for our teammates. We recognize that our actions reflect our co-op’s values and are working to provide equitable treatment to all of our staff.”

The release notes that PCC is also:

  • Increasing efforts to expand access to vaccines for its staff, communicating with state and local government officials to prioritize available vaccines for frontline grocery workers.
  • Providing KN95 masks to all staff.
  • Maintaining a “no mask, no entry” policy designed to provide a safe environment for staff and the PCC community of members and shoppers.

PCC noted in the release that medical, dental and mental health benefits offered to staff include:

  • Low monthly premiums, low annual deductibles, disability and life insurance;
  • Alternative health coverage, including naturopathic physician coverage, acupuncture, chiropractic and massage;
  • A free employee assistance program to help with a range of challenges from emotional well-being to legal and financial issues.

PCC added a disclaimer to the news, which states: PCC has a legal duty to bargain in good faith with UFCW Local 21, its employees’ representative. This duty encompasses many obligations, including a duty not to bypass the union and deal directly with employees represented by UFCW Local 21. PCC continues to bargain in good faith with UFCW Local 21.

UFCW Local 21 also shared news of the proposal with reaction and bargaining update here. PCC bargaining team member Quinn Ráo, Ballard Front End, was quoted: “The bargaining team is committed to fighting for hazard pay to acknowledge our hard work and sacrifice throughout the pandemic. The last week has seen both workers and customers across PCC demand $4 hazard pay, and denounce attempts made by company leadership to thwart meaningful grocery worker legislation. Now, PCC wants us to agree to long-term concessions in our contract in exchange for reinstating short term ‘hazard pay.’ We insist that hazard pay should not come with strings attached.”

Grocery Dive reported that PCC’s efforts to reach a deal with the union come after an unsuccessful effort to convince Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan not to sign the city’s hazard pay bill.

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