By  on March 20, 2006

NEW YORK — Members of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union chapter that was in contract negotiations with four Macy's stores, including the flagship on 34th Street in Manhattan, ratified a new five-year agreement with the retailer on March 15.

The agreement covers the period beginning Feb. 1, 2006 and ending May 1, 2011. The agreement gives union workers: a general wage increase of $3.15 an hour over the life of the contract; the opportunity to earn higher commission rates based on sales; additional pay for night shifts; a reduction in health care costs by as much as $1,500 a year for family coverage and company contributions of $1,000 to new flexible spending accounts for employees; protection against schedule changes made without the permission of an employee; a reduction of the employee requirements and disciplinary actions tied to solicitation for the company credit card; a revamped vacation policy that allows workers to take time in increments; pension plan improvements, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday.

"We are very pleased that the labor contract for the 4,000 employees at our Herald Square, Parkchester, White Plains and Queens stores was ratified by the union's membership. Everyone involved, including company and union negotiators, worked tirelessly for several weeks to come to terms on various issues from wages to benefits that are based on the realities of the retail business today and for the future," said Elina Kazan, a spokesperson for the retailer.

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