On Thursday evening, the American Licorice Company issued the following statement to Union City Patch:
On Monday, Dec. 5, members of the Bakery Union, Local 125, employed at s Red Vines factory in Union City, Calif. walked off their jobs, after several months of contract negotiations. The final contract offer from the Company, which was rejected by these Associates, includes continued company paid health insurance, a wage raise, and an improved retirement benefit.
The key parts of the Company’s offer are:
- 30 cents/hour pay raise retroactive to August 29, 2011 with a 35 cents per hour pay raise in 2012 and another 35 cents in 2013. This is roughly 5% over the three-year life of the contract.
- The Company will continue to pay all premiums for health insurance for Associates and their eligible dependents. In addition, the company will pay all of the insurance deductible amounts in 2012, as well as half of all deductible amounts in 2013 and 2014. Once the deductible is reached, the plan pays at 100% with in-network care providers. There is no co-pay or co-insurance after a deductible is met.
- A doubling – to $10,000 – of the lump sum payment the Company provides to Associates who retire, on top of a monthly pension.
The specifics around the healthcare benefits include:
- Associates will continue to have a choice between Kaiser or a PPO insurer.
- In 2012, the Company will fund a health savings account (HSA), at the full cost of the deductible amount in our plan - $3,000 for a family and $1500 for an individual. This means Associates will, in effect, have free health care in 2012.
- The Company will pay into Associates’ HSAs half of the cost of the deductible in 2013 and, again, in 2014. If Associates have not used the entire amount paid into their HSA in any given year, they can always use leftover HSA money in future years or carry these funds into their retirement.
- Money the Company contributes to an Associate’s HSA is his or hers– forever. If it is used for approved health-related purposes, there will be no federal tax on it.
We regret these long-time and highly valued Associates have decided to walk away from their jobs over the terms of this offer, which provides comprehensive healthcare and competitive wages in the market.
We will continue to uphold our commitments to our customers by making timely shipments and to our consumers by having fresh Red Vines Candy available on store shelves. It is our hope that all Associates return to work as soon as possible to assist in this effort.