Union workers ratify pact with Giant Eagle

AUSTINTOWN -- By a 3-1 margin, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 880 ratified a three-year contract covering about 1,100 workers at eight company-owned Giant Eagle stores.
Some 700 union members voted Thursday.
Workers at the top of the pay scale, who have more than four years of service, will get pay increases of $1 an hour over two years. They'll get a 30-cent-an-hour increase retroactive to June 10 and 35 cent raises in June 2003 and June 2004.
Some 55 percent to 60 percent of the workers are in the top group, said Gary Weitzel, the union's area coordinator. All workers will get pay increases, he said.
Those working their way up to the top level will get significant increases based on length of service, he added. Union members' wages range from the minimum wage to $12 an hour.
Health benefits have been maintained with no copayments required, and the new contract provides a large increase in pension benefits and improved language concerning working conditions, Weitzel said.
The contract covers stores on Wilmington Road and Butler Avenue in New Castle; Doral Drive and Boardman-Canfield Road in Boardman; the Howland store; Mahoning Avenue in Austintown; the Cornersburg store; and the Jamestown Plaza store on East Market Street in Warren.

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