(PONTIAC, Mich.) – Teamsters working for Rite Aid’s Waterford, Mich., distribution center will vote Sunday, Aug. 5, to authorize an unfair labor practice strike protesting management’s retaliation against workers for informing the public about Rite Aid mismanagement; failing to provide information and bargaining in bad faith.
In addition, Rite Aid continues to force on its Michigan workers a substandard health plan, costing Rite Aid and its shareholders more than the comprehensive and affordable health plan workers are proposing.
Management refuses to consider a Teamster-sponsored health plan that provides greater coverage, significantly lower deductibles and material cost savings to Rite Aid. Under the current company plan, workers’ family coverage has an annual deductible of $6,500. The Teamsters’ plan would reduce the family deductible to $1,500 annually and provide more comprehensive medical and prescription drug coverage.
The Teamster plan would guarantee an estimated savings of $372,000 to Rite Aid over the life of the contract. The previous contract covering the 220 workers represented by Teamsters Local 614 expired in April 2018. Negotiations are ongoing.
“Our members are fed up with Rite Aid’s unlawful behavior,” said Denny Krogstad, President of Teamsters Local 614. “Multiple violations of federal labor law and dismissing a plan that will provide better health coverage for workers and save them hundreds of thousands of dollars is perhaps why the company is in the position it is. Rite Aid is unlawfully provoking a strike that will hurt workers, customers and shareholders alike.”
“For a management team facing a shareholder revolt over its proposed merger with Albertsons, a massive new market competitor in Amazon, and a business struggling to survive, they can’t seem to get out of their own way,” said Steve Vairma, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division. “A work stoppage at the company’s only Midwestern distribution center would introduce service disruptions and inefficiencies as the company’s next closest distribution facility is some 370 miles away.”