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Union Workers Ratify New Giant Eagle Contract

Virginia Alvino Young
90.5 WESA
Giant Eagle on Pittsburgh's South Side.

The union representing Giant Eagle workers has ratified a new three-year contract with the regional grocer.

Workers protested low wages earlier this year.

“Giant Eagle put significant money on the table to increase their starting rates and to give a significant wage increase to the existing employees,” said Anthony Helfer of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1776 Keystone State.

Starting wages will jump to $10 an hour, and in two years, $11 an hour. Current starting wages are $8.25. Helfer said it’s the biggest increase in decades.

Workers will also continue to receive medical coverage without any payroll contributions. And the company has committed to creating sixty new full time jobs.

The agreement comes on the heels of multiple labor charges filed by both sides. Giant Eagle said the union violated its contract when part-time employees asked for the creation of full time positions. Workers alleged Giant Eagle was interfering with organizing efforts and coercing employees not to join the union.

“Because our relationship has improved, both sides agreed that once this was ratified, we would be withdrawing those charges, and we’re hoping to start fresh with the company and our relationship,” said Helfer.

Helfer said 4,500 members voted by a ten to one margin to ratify the agreement.