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November 12, 2018

Shaw's Maine drivers win pay hike in first Teamsters-negotiated contract

After gaining union representation in January, truck drivers and mechanics at Shaw's Supermarkets' Wells distribution center have agreed to a contract that provides their first pay raise in four years.

The 79 Shaw's employees represented by Teamsters Local 340 on Oct. 24 ratified a two-year contract that provides a grievance process, seniority-based bidding for routes and schedules, and guaranteed pay increases each year, the union said Saturday in a news release.

The workers began attempting to organize in 2015 and voted to join Local 340 in March 2017. But legal challenges delayed the representation from taking effect until the National Labor Relations Board ruled the collective bargaining unit was valid.

Bargaining began in April.

Massachusetts-based Shaw's, a unit of the Albertsons Cos., has over 2,000 workers and operates 154 stores throughout New England. In 2015, Osco Drug pharmacists at 16 Maine Shaw's branches joined Teamsters Local 340, despite opposition from the supermarket chain.

Organizing attempts at the 480,000-square-foot Wells warehouse date to 1987, three years after its opening, when a similar vote to join the local was unsuccessful. The NLRB claimed that balloting was influenced by illegal threats of reprisal, but the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed.

Earlier this year, unionized workers at the South Portland warehouse of Shaw's competitor Hannaford Supermarkets won wage increases and a new contract after a one-day strike.

Teamsters Local 340, based in South Portland, represents 4,000 workers at public and private employers throughout Maine.

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