Supermarket workers' union accuses Waldbaum’s of unfair practices

6/19/2008

NEW YORK Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW, which represents more than 18,000 supermarket, dairy and health care workers in New York, has filed unfair labor charges against A&P’s Waldbaum’s, alleging that the company is engaging in unfair labor practices during its negotiations for a new contract for about 90 pharmacists at 35 area stores.

The pharmacist contract expired April 1, and a contract extension expired April 30. A strike vote was approved on May 13. Negotiations are set to resume June 25.

A spokeswoman for A&P said, “In respect of the diligence and efforts of the respective parties, it is A&P’s position not to comment on details of negotiations.”

According to the union, among the charges are complaints that the company is forcing employees to remove pro-union buttons and stickers, calling the police on union representatives engaged in protected activities such as consumer leafleting, disseminating false and misleading information at employer’s mandatory meetings with pharmacists and refusing to supply the union wage information concerning the pharmacists’ per-diem and that of non-union pharmacists.

“In addition to all of these very blatant violations, the company has stalled our negotiations because they refuse to come to any agreement unless the union agrees to allow the company to withdraw from the Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW retirement plan,” stated Local 338 secretary-treasurer John DeMartino. “The pharmacists will not give in on this issue. They are standing strong and refuse to agree to any contract that doesn’t include coverage by the Local 338 retirement plan, and the union will continue to fight to ensure our members are guaranteed that coverage and that they are provided fair and equitable wages.”

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