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Amherst Cinema union employees, management sign first-ever contract

Amherst Cinema in Amherst, Massachusetts
Amherst Cinema
Amherst Cinema in Amherst, Massachusetts

Union employees and management at the independent Amherst Cinema in Amherst, Massachusetts, announced Friday a first ever contract agreement.

Amherst Cinema Workers United (ACWU) includes ten box office and concession stand employees.

Staff will see an average raise of 6% in the first year of the agreement. The contract also provides leave policies and a joint labor-management committee to address health and safety issues.

Cinema workers voted to unionize in April 2022. The Amherst Cinema Board of Directors voted a short time after to voluntarily recognize the group. The contract is effective through June 2025.

Workers at nearby Trader Joe's in Hadley, Mass., voted to unionize in July 2022. At the time Trader Joe's corporate headquarters in California issued a statement saying it was prepared to begin discussions to negotiate a contract; no agreement has been announced.

Jill Kaufman has been a reporter and host at NEPM since 2005. Before that she spent 10 years at WBUR in Boston, producing "The Connection" with Christopher Lydon and on "Morning Edition" reporting and hosting. She's also hosted NHPR's daily talk show "The Exhange" and was an editor at PRX's "The World."