Add partnership to your shopping list!

A woman holding a shopping basket looks at a bottle of juice in a grocery store refrigerator aisle.


When you enter grocery stores to shop, I am sure labor-management partnerships are not on your shopping list. While you may not know about the partnership between the union, and 9 employers (Albertsons, Allied Employers, Kroger, Schnucks, Stop and Shop [Ahold], Tops, UNFI, and Wakefern), the work of the Joint Labor Management Committee of the Retail Food Industry (the JLMC) plays an important role in making sure grocery store shelves remain stocked and shoppers have access to the items they need. The mission of the JLMC, which was launched in 1974, is to provide a forum for constructive relationships and dialogue between senior levels of management and the workers through their union.

Acting Secretary Su, wearing a blue jacket, speaks at a podium.
Acting Secretary Su delivers remarks at the 50th anniversary of the Joint Labor-Management Committee of the Retail Food Industry.

This May JLMC celebrated its 50th anniversary. Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su delivered remarks and congratulated the JLMC on partnering together for a half century, even in the challenging times during COVID. As we can all vividly remember, during those difficult times everything we thought we knew about grocery stores and supply chains was flipped on its head. But through the JLMC, employees and managers worked together to keep stores open, help workers stay safe and healthy, and show up for their customers, providing them access to the things they needed the most.

JLMC is one example of what can be achieved when workers and employers work together – and why partnerships are not a luxury, but a necessity.

The Biden-Harris administration and the Department of Labor recognize that labor-management partnerships are not just good for the private sector, but also good for government. On March 6, President Biden signed Executive Order 14119 requiring the creation of labor management forums throughout the Executive branch agencies for the purpose of enhancing cooperative and productive labor-management relations. When workers do well, businesses and government have the capacity to thrive.

As the Department of Labor, we are interested in hearing more about how workers and employers work collaboratively, even in challenging times, and in helping jumpstart these collaborations. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of labor-management partnerships or would like to share your story about how your partnership has worked in your workplace, email

And on your next trip to the grocery store, think about how partnerships help to stock the shelves with products we need and want. Happy birthday, JLMC! Looking forward to many more years of your partnership success.


Darnice Marsh is the labor-management partnership coordinator in the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.