(Rochester, N.Y.) Wegmans- picketing Teamsters from Local 118 are calling on their employer to protect good jobs in Rochester and stop retaliating against employees for standing up for their rights under Federal law. Today the union will file an unfair labor practice charge against Wegmans due to the company’s actions against employees.
The informational picketing occurred outside Wegmans warehouse locations on Brooks Ave. and Market St./Chili Ave in Rochester. Teamsters Local 118, which represents more than 900 Wegmans warehouse workers, drivers and other skilled trades, has been in negotiations with Wegmans since March.
“We want to send a strong message to Wegmans that our members are committed to protecting quality jobs in our community and will not tolerate threats and intimidation on the part of the company,” said Kevin McIntosh, Local 118 business agent. “We will not stand by while Wegmans attempts to undercut the standards our members have worked hard to build for decades.”
Wegmans, which consistently ranks as one of the country’s top employers, has proposed eliminating its employees’ pension, a move that would affect members at all levels of seniority in the company an put workers’ retirement security in jeopardy.
“Most of our members have given one, two, three or more decades of service to this company and helped build its success,” McIntosh said. “We can’t allow Wegmans to drive down standards, because other Rochester employers will no doubt follow suit.”
McIntosh said he’s heard messages of support from Wegmans bakery union members as well as other store managers and employees who’ve been forced into the company’s proposed “retirement program.” McIntosh said, “They’re telling us to keep fighting because they know they can’t survive on the company’s plan.”
Since employees have begun publically expressing their dismay over Wegmans attack on their retirement, the company has retaliated against them in various ways. These retaliatory measures are the subject of the unfair labor practice charge being filed today with Region 3 of the National Labor Relations Board in Buffalo, New York.
Teamsters Local 118 returns to negotiations with Wegmans on Monday, September 23.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.