Spreckels Sugar workers ratify new 3-year agreement »Holtville Tribune
BRAWLEY – Unionized workers at Spreckels Sugar Co. in Brawley have voted overwhelmingly to approve a new three-year contract. In the deal, the workers, represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135, received their biggest pay and benefits increase in recent memory, according to a UFCW press release. .
Concerned about wages and working conditions at their facilities during the pandemic, Spreckels sugar workers were determined to fight for a contract that reflected their hard work as well as the harsh conditions in the Imperial Valley, the statement said.
“Intrepid, they have pleaded their case at the bargaining table to negotiate what they believe they deserve. Recognizing the value of their workforce, the company chose to negotiate in good faith, rushing a deal before the current contract expires on January 1, ”the press release said.
This deal, negotiated between the worker-led bargaining committee and company negotiators, helps raise standards for all workers in the Imperial Valley by providing higher wages and benefits. The bargaining committee consisted of Spreckels workers Juan Hernandez, Clarissa Zavala, Ray Mendoza, Jesse Ortiz and Miguel Ramirez with the UFCW Local 135 team made up of President Todd Walters, Secretary-Treasurer Grant Tom and Representative union Chris Lopez.
Here are some of the many new benefits workers will receive starting with the first week of the New Year:
• Salary increases of 5%, 5% (second year) and 5.25% (third year) over the next three years
• Ratification bonus of $ 1,250
• New 401K plan where the company contributes 3% and corresponds to 50% of workers’ contributions up to 6%
• Additional sick days for pandemic-related illnesses