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Teamsters reject Wegmans contract, authorize strike

Rochester Business Journal
October 1, 2013

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 118, which represents roughly 900 Rochester-based distribution and transportation employees, voted Monday to reject Wegmans Food Markets Inc.’s “last, best and final” contract offer.

By rejecting the contract, the union also authorized strike action. Local 118 officials said they will request the participation of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to settle the outstanding contract.

“Our members flatly said no to an offer that would immediately cut their compensation package, eradicate our pension and leave our spouses’ health care in jeopardy,” said Kevin McIntosh, Teamsters Local 118 business agent.

“It is extremely frustrating that the Teamsters’ desire to keep Wegmans from leaving its troubled pension fund put our employees in the position it did,” said Wegmans CEO Danny Wegman.  “We made an offer to provide a more secure future for our people, and the union responded with misinformation and pressure on its own members—our employees—to reject that offer.  We are very concerned.”

Wegmans officials said in the event of a strike, they are prepared with a plan to ensure that stores remain open without interruption. 

“We welcome all of the employees in this bargaining unit to come to work every day, even during a labor dispute.  But, we are also prepared to do whatever it takes, in the event of a strike, to offer the same incredible service our customers have come to expect from Wegmans and its employees,” said Mike Cullen, Wegmans vice president of distribution.
 
(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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