The Union and employers met for the fifth time on Thursday in a bargaining session that extended late into the evening. Both parties started the day optimistic that an agreement could be reached; however, those hopes were dashed as the employers made a flurry of late proposal modifications.
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April 2, 2019 __The Union and the ARGA Employers met again today for our fourth bargaining session. While both sides continue to talk and movement is being made, the negotiations are tough. The Union has proposals to allow everyone to accrue vacation time regardless of job title and the Employer does not want to discuss the proposal until we reach a point in which we are discussing all economic proposals. Today, they presented the Union with a proposal that would take away the number of vacation/personal days that each employee would accrue in Duluth.
Through two productive bargaining sessions, the Employer and the Union have reached tentative agreements on a number of items; however, economic issues still remain.
Tannery workers at S.B. Foot Tanning ratified a new agreement at a meeting held on March 28, 2019 at the American Legion in Red Wing. 60% of the workers voted in favor of the agreement that gave all members raises, made movement to end the two-tier wage system and continued the fully employer-paid health care at current benefit levels. Members voting against the employer's offer stated that the offer did not improve time of benefits (vacation or sick time) for members who have been with the company for years.
Negotiations continued with UNFI/Cub, Jerry's, Festival/Knowlan's, Kowalski's and Lunds & Byerlys on March 25 and 26. The Employers presented a proposal of a higher deductible health and welfare plan, which includes a $5/week (FT) and $2/week (PT) additional Employer contributions. In addition, the Employers proposed a $.20/hour (FT) and $.15/hour (PT) wage increases for top-of-scale/overscale only. The Union countered their proposal with a $10/week (FT) equivalent to $.25/hour and $6/week (PT) equivalent to $.20/hour increase in the Employer contribution to the existing