Arbitrator Rules in Favor of UFCW Locals 1776 and 1360 by Requiring SUPERVALU To Require Any Buyer of Shop 'n Save Stores to Honor Contract and Hire People
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., July 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 1776 and 1360, representing workers in super market chains owned by SUPERVALU today was notified that the workers employed in the former Shop 'n Save stores in suburban Philadelphia won a significant victory. The stores are located in Trooper, Hatfield and Yardley. The workers in the Yardley store are represented by UFCW Local 1360. Wendell W. Young, III, the President of UFCW Local 1776 said: "They will have their contract upheld, and SUPERVALU must honor the Contract with Local 1776, requiring any company that purchases the stores to offer employment to the workers laid off at Shop 'n Save, and to assume the contract that exists, guaranteeing them their wages and benefits and all other conditions contained in the document." Clay Bowman, President of UFCW Local 1360 agreed and went on to say that: "This win for the workers is significant and substantial, and sends a direct message to companies that operate based solely upon corporate greed, that the people do have power, and are not afraid to stand up and fight for their rights." Federal Magistrate Judge, Jacob P. Hart, acting in the capacity as an Arbitrator in this matter agreed with the Union and ordered SUPERVALU that they "[S]hall not sell, transfer, convey or assign any store covered by the Shop 'n Save collective bargaining contract without first securing agreement of any successor to assume the Shop 'n Save collective bargaining agreements " The Judge went on to say that this order shall also apply to anyone that the current purchaser may assign the stores to under a separate agreement. Young and Bowman said that while the victory at Shop 'n Save was an important one, and they are pleased by it, they are still not satisfied that the workers at Laneco, the other company owned by SUPERVALU and part of this action, did not share in the victory. The Judge ruled that the grievance against Laneco was denied, thus allowing those stores to be sold without the people and the contract that protected them. Young stated: "This is a terrible example of how property rights mean so much more than human rights in this country. The leases on the buildings are held sacred, while the company decides to simply ignore the contract securing the people's jobs." Despite the contrary ruling on the Laneco sale, Mr. Young felt that this battle, first in the Federal Courts, and then before Judge Hart, was necessary, and the great win against SUPERVALU was important for a number of reasons. First, it demonstrates that the protection of a contract is important, and that companies cannot simply run away when they want to avoid their obligations. It demonstrates the resolve of the Union, in that while difficult, the Officers, Staff and Members were committed to do what was right for those affected by these destructive actions. And it will send a message to others who wish to do the same that they will be in for a tenacious fight if they attempt to avoid their obligations to the workers. Secondly, it assists UFCW Local 1776 in its long battle against Governor Ridge's attempt to privatize the PLCB Stores, destroying thousands of good jobs in Pennsylvania. This victory over SUPERVALU demonstrates that the Union has been right in fighting to protect the successor and assigns language in the PLCB contract. This language does in fact mean something, and it is something vital to the jobs and lives of the members. This win will also help in the Union's fight against other employers that may try and avoid the contracts that they have with their workers, specifically the potential fight with Super Fresh Markets, over the proposed sale of its Lansdowne Store to Giant of Carlisle Super Markets. The language in the Super Fresh contract is similar to that in the Shop 'n Save contract. This victory over SUPERVALU will be the catalyst and precedent to go on to fight to make sure that all employers honor the contracts to which they affix their signatures. Wendell Young finished by stating that the fight to help the displaced workers is not yet over, and that the Union will continue to work on their behalf, negotiating severance packages, enforcing the provisions of the contract that provide for such benefits, and in other ways that can create and ensure jobs for years to come. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union represents over 1.4 million workers nationwide in the retail food, food processing, health care and service industries. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X31135524
SOURCE UFCW Local 1776
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