Yesterday, the union representing workers at Willy Street Co-Op, the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America, the UE, Local 1186, reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. Although Labor Radio is not privy to details of the tentative contract before it is presented to the local’s entire membership this Sunday, negotiating points included, among other issues, maintenance of current health care provisions, a reduction in probation time for new workers, and, notably, increases in wages that would allow workers a living wage in the increasingly expensive Madison area. On Tuesday, Willy Street workers packed a room at the Labor Temple on South Park Street in a discussion meeting with it negotiating team. Labor Radio spoke to some workers and negotiators outside this session. David Droster, chief steward for 1186 and a worker in the grocery department at the co-op’s Middleton location and a member of the negotiating team, explained what he saw as the key issue.
Kate Berry, a cashier and new employee at the Willy Street location, was taking a break from the meeting with her daughter Fiona, and described her financial situation.
Droster described on Tuesday how negotiations were looking up.
Mike Tomaloff is president of Local 1186 and a worker at the co-op’s off-site kitchen. Tomaloff was overall pleased with the negotiation process, and credited worker solidarity for any gains that will be made.
That was Mike Tomaloff, president of UE Local 1186, the union of workers at Willy Street Co-Op, speaking to Labor Radio on Tuesday. The union reached a tentative agreement with Willy Street management yesterday. The new contract, expected to be for two years, will be presented to the workers this weekend with a vote as early as Monday.
Reporting Courtesy of Greg Geboski for Labor Radio
Photo Courtesy of McBeth on Flickr