(Rochester, N.Y.) Wegmans Teamsters represented by Local 118 in Rochester, N.Y. will vote on the company’s contract offer during membership meetings Monday, Sept. 30, union representatives announced today. Workers will cast ballots on the company’s proposal that would eliminate the pensions of more than 900 of its Rochester employees and dramatically reduce their compensation package.
“Wegmans’ public statement that it had offered workers an 18 percent wage increase over the term of the agreement is disingenuous, at best,” said Kevin McIntosh, Local 118 business agent. “In fact, the company plans to take away our $4.82 pension contribution – money we set aside from our wages to go into the pension fund – and tell us it’s giving us a $1.74 wage increase. No matter how you look at it, that’s a loss, not a pay increase. And it puts our members’ retirement security in serious jeopardy.”
Wegmans’ final offer also leaves open issues regarding health care costs and coverage, McIntosh said. “Wegmans says, ‘trust us’ when it’s already doling out funny numbers. Our members have trusted the company for decades, but Wegmans has sadly proven we can’t really do that anymore.”
Wegmans faces unfair labor practice charges for violations of federal labor law that protect workers’ rights and prevent the company from unilaterally changing working conditions – in this case after workers protested the company’s proposal to eliminate their pension benefits. The charges will be investigated by Region 3 of the National Labor Relations Board in Buffalo, N.Y.
Teamsters Local 118, which represents the more than 900 Wegmans warehouse workers, drivers and other skilled trades, has been in negotiations with Wegmans since March.
“Many of our members have worked at Wegmans for decades. They’ve invested their lives in Wegmans’ success,” McIntosh said. “It hurts all the more that Wegmans seems to be betraying its public image as one of the country’s best employers.”
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.