Meijer Union Workers Ratify New Contracts

February 23, 2024

Over 25,000 workers to receive immediate wage increases, improvements to paid time off, health care, & 401(k)

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 951 voted this week to ratify new Meijer contracts containing improvements to wages, paid time off, health care, 401(k), and premium pay. UFCW 951 is the largest private sector union in the state, representing over 28,000 workers in a variety of industries, over 25,000 of which are Meijer workers.

“Not only are our members receiving significant wage increases, but the length of time it takes them to get to the top rate has been reduced due to the closing of gaps in the wage scale,” John Cakmakci, president of UFCW Local 951, said. “I am proud of the members who served on the bargaining committee and worked together to achieve contract gains that improve the lives of their fellow members.”

There are three separate contracts covering over 25,000 retail, distribution center/transportation, and retail facilities maintenance workers. These contracts are four-year agreements effective February 25, 2024, with immediate wage increases of up to $1.50 per hour. Other improvements to the contracts include:

  • More paid time off for workers hired after 10/23/05.
  • 25 percent increase in the company’s 401(k) match.
  • Greater opportunity to obtain full-time positions.
  • The healthcare benefits eligibility waiting period for full-time employees was shortened to 30 days from 60 days.
  • New paid family care leave provides paid time off to care for family members with a serious illness.
  • Guaranteed wage increases every 700 hours worked now instead of 1,000 hours worked in the retail units.
  • Increased shift, job classification, and building premiums.

Steve Speare, who works at Meijer Distribution Center #882 in Newport, served on the bargaining committee.

“It’s been a long process, but I’m very excited for this new contract,” said Speare. “Everything we did is about getting what you work for, making a living, and I was comfortable with how everything turned out.”

February 13 officially marked the end of the right-to-work law in Michigan. Michigan is the first state in 58 years to repeal a right-to-work law which allows workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement to reap all the benefits of the union contract without joining the union. The new Meijer contracts reflect this change in Michigan law as closed shop language was negotiated into the agreements. Under the contracts, all new hires will be required to join the union or pay a service fee as a condition of their employment.  Current Meijer workers who opted not to join the union, under the recently repealed right-to-work law, will have until June 15, 2024 to become a member, pay the service fee or quit the company.

“While this is a victory to celebrate, it is important to not sit back and forget about the detrimental impact right-to-work has had on our state,” Cakmakci said. “Right-to-work laws are about increasing the power of corporations while restricting the power of workers to join together in unions, rather than worker freedom or job creation. Unions are one of the few organized groups that have the capacity to successfully advocate for the economic interests of working people, so the ability for workers to be in a union must be protected.”


UFCW 951 is the largest private sector union in the state representing over 28,000 workers across Michigan in a variety of industries including grocery, retail, food processing, and pharmacy who are employed at a variety of companies including Meijer, Kroger, Rite Aid, JBS, JLL, Sunberry Beverages, Polly’s, Harding’s, and Grandville Roasting & Packaging Plant. The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States representing over 1.3 million UFCW members nationwide.