Thursday, September 26, 2013

Teamsters fight Wegmans' pension grab

Wegmans Teamsters at a recent informational picket.
For more than 15 years, Wegmans grocery stores have been ranked as one of the best places to work in America.

Until now.

Although the chain made over $6.6 billion in sales last year, it is trying to cut costs on the backs of workers.

Rochester, N.Y., stores are threatening to take away secure retirement plans for Teamsters Local 118 delivery and warehouse workers by replacing it with a Wegmans 401(k) plan.

Other Wegmans workers already on the plan are urging members to stay away. Said Kevin McIntosh, Teamsters Local 118 business agent: 
They’re telling us to keep fighting because they know they can’t survive on the company’s plan.
Having a good company retirement plan is more important now than ever before.  As company pension plans have disappeared, almost half of American households cannot afford to set aside any money for their retirement.

A better outcome than that is not likely if Teamsters are switched to Wegmans 401(k) plan.

Not only is the company trying to take away the hope of a good retirement for workers, but management retaliated against members who spoke out against the switch.

On behalf of members at Wegmans, Local 118 filed for an unfair labor practice charge on Monday and is practicing picketing outside company headquarters. Said McIntosh:
We want to send a strong message to Wegmans that our members are committed to protecting quality jobs in our community and will not tolerate threats and intimidation on the part of the company. We will not stand by while Wegmans attempts to undercut the standards our members have worked hard to build for decades.
If you think workers deserve a better future, like them on their Facebook page and send a message of support to our brothers and sisters at Wegmans.