Union For Laneco Workers Again Accepts Company's Severance Proposal; Union Says SuperValu in a `State of Confusion'
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Wendell W. Young, IV, Executive Vice President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1776, representing over 1,000 workers at Laneco stores in eastern Pennsylvania, said today that the union is once again, on behalf of the workers who were recently laid off in the Lehigh Valley and Lehighton Laneco stores, accepting the severance proposal made by SuperValu, the parent company of the local Laneco. Young said that the recent history of negotiations concerning the severance for the workers has been full of inconsistent changes of position by SuperValu. In information disseminated this week by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1776, the union pointed to the misrepresentations and inaccurate statements and positions of SuperValu. The initial linking by SuperValu of the severance package they conceptually discussed with the union with the vacating of the arbitration award regarding the Shop 'n Save stores, was then specifically "unlinked," according to Young. When the union accepted the new "unlinked" severance offer on behalf of the Laneco workers, when it was finally put into writing by SuperValu, the company then announced that the offer was no longer valid because SuperValu had again linked the issues. Young said "this confusing presentation" by the company then included a deadline of 5:00 p.m. EDT, on August 30, 2001. Next the company revoked the deadline approximately eight hours before it was set to expire. Then, on August 31, 2001, the company sent another letter to the union saying that the revocation of the deadline was in error, and it was instead meant to be sent after the deadline. "This is the type of incredibly unprofessional and misleading actions that the union and our members have had to deal with throughout this process," said Young. Young went on to say that, despite this "state of confusion" in SuperValu, the union is again accepting the severance proposal on behalf of the Laneco workers from the Lehigh Valley and Lehighton stores in Pennsylvania, and that the union "will continue to fight to make sure that SuperValu lives up to every contract provision for both Laneco and Shop 'n Save workers." Young said that, in addition to accepting the severance proposal for the Laneco workers, the union continues to be ready and willing to negotiate a separate agreement for Shop 'n Save workers. This will be based upon the recent significant arbitration ruling by a federal Magistrate Judge requiring the new owners of the Shop 'n Save stores to hire the former Shop n' Save workers, and honor terms of the collective bargaining agreement with the union. "Our members who worked at the Laneco and Shop 'n Save stores labored very hard over the years to make this company profitable, and now they are being cast aside by SuperValu," said Young. "We are an organization that always places our members first, and we will not tolerate the indiscriminate and poor treatment of them by this company." Finally, Young said: "I believe that the real crime here, on top of the insulting manner in which the company sold and closed the stores while purposely misleading the workers, is that the company has sent to those same workers, in their homes, the hope and promise of up to ten weeks pay and other benefits to help them go on with their lives, while having no intention of delivering on those hopes." "This emotional roller coaster that the company has placed these men and women on is indefensible," Young said. "And, in my opinion, the selfish and insensitive manner of this company is typical of the lack of loyalty demonstrated by many companies today towards their workers, while at the same time they expect -- and in fact demand -- absolute loyalty to the company from the workers." UFCW local 1776 represents over 23, 000 workers in the retail food, food processing, service and health care industries in Pennsylvania, and a number of surrounding states, as well as workers in Pennsylvania's state-run liquor stores. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X11707012
SOURCE UFCW Local 1776
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