Federal Charges Filed Against Wendy's New Bakery Co.

Dec 10, 2009, 16:09 ET from Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union

Company Illegally Implements Contract at Ohio Bakery

ZANESVILLE, Ohio, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wendy's New Bakery Co. has illegally implemented the terms of a proposed new contract at its bakery where 150 members of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) Local 57 are employed. The union members have been working under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement that expired in March of this year.

The last offer made by the company eliminates the workers' pension, guts their health care coverage and takes away many of their rights.

Local 57 filed Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on December 8 following the company's actions. It is illegal to implement changes to wages, benefits and working conditions without reaching an impasse in contract negotiations. Additional ULP charges have been filed by the union concerning the plant manager's efforts to intimidate workers through surveillance of union activity, as well as specific efforts by management to circumvent the union by bargaining directly with individual employees.

According to BCTGM International Representative John Price, who has assisted the local union with negotiations, an impasse has not been reached. New dates for contract negotiations had been offered and exchanged by both parties prior to the illegal implementation of the company's last offer.

Negotiators for Wendy's/Arby's Group have demanded concessions that would render the union contract virtually meaningless. Those concessions include the elimination of a decent health care coverage plan, replacing it with a substandard plan that is unacceptable. The company also is demanding the elimination of the defined benefit pension plan which, if imposed, would destroy the security of New Bakery workers in their retirement.

According to BCTGM International President Frank Hurt, it is a disgrace that Wendy's/Arby's Group refuses to honor its workers' hard work and years of loyal service.

"For nearly three decades, members of Bakers Local 57 have taken pride in the quality products they make for Wendy's stores and customers," notes Hurt. "The New Bakery workers have sacrificed much over the years in order to secure a quality contract with good health care coverage and a solid, guaranteed pension for themselves and their families. We will not quietly stand by and watch this company rob our members of their hard-earned benefits. We intend to take all necessary and appropriate action to support our members including a worldwide consumer boycott of Wendy's and Arby's restaurants if necessary," Hurt concludes.

Local 57 has received broad and enthusiastic political and community support from across Ohio including backing from Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and members of the Ohio congressional delegation.

Additionally, the Local 57 members have received international support from the International Union of Food Workers (IUF), headquartered in Switzerland. In a letter sent to the CEO of Wendy's/Arby's Group, IUF General Secretary Ron Oswald writes, "On behalf of the 12 million workers in 383 trade unions in 120 countries affiliated with the IUF, I ask you to direct your negotiators to return to the bargaining table and abandon their assault on the contract BCTGM Local 57 has with New Bakery workers. Stop demanding that your workers give up their health insurance and pensions and negotiate a fair contract."

The BCTGM International Union as well as the Ohio Labor movement and numerous community organizations stand ready to act in solidarity against Wendy's illegal actions.

The BCTGM International Union, headquartered in Kensington, Maryland, represents workers throughout the U.S. and Canada employed at such companies as Kellogg's, Kraft/Nabisco, Hostess, General Mills, ADM, ConAgra, Hershey, Kroger and more.

Contact: John Price
BCTGM International Representative

SOURCE Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union