Friday, May 10, 2013

Teamsters ask NLRB to look into illegal firing of pharmacist

Chicago-area Teamsters are going after retailer Jewel-Osco for engaging in unfair labor practices while the union is negotiating a new contract with the company. Local 727 filed charges against Jewel-Osco this week for its unjustified firing of a pharmacist employed by the chain for 30 years, saying it violates the National Labor Relations Act.

Harold Collier, the pharmacist who was terminated, is a bargaining committee member for the Teamsters. Since negotiations began, Local 727 representatives have met eight times with company officials in an effort to reach an agreement, to no avail. Teamsters Local 727 filed notice of Collier’s improper firing with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on May 8.
“After our investigation and watching the company stonewall us through the grievance process, it because obvious that Harold’s dismissal was just another cynical negotiating tactic,” said John Coli, Teamsters Local 727 secretary-treasurer and lead negotiator for the 400 pharmacists.
The union has represented Jewel-Osco pharmacists for more than three decades. During that time, there has never been a labor action.
“The Teamsters and Jewel-Osco have a long history of cooperation and flexibility at the negotiating table,” Coli said. “It is a shame that the company has decided not to engage in good faith bargaining.”