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PLEASANTON, Calif., Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Safeway filed suit today in Federal Court charging that the United Food and Commercial Workers union has engaged in blatant ``voting irregularities'' in connection with the Company's offer for a new labor contract. Safeway has also filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against the union
with the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of employees who have been threatened by the union.
The lawsuit states that some of the union locals are manipulating the voting in an effort to obtain a rejection of the offer. Voting irregularities include:
.Denying some employees the right to vote;
.Not requiring identification to vote;
.Allowing ineligible people to vote; and
.Allowing some people to vote more than once.
The Company also says that the union reneged on a promise to allow employees to vote by mail. A mail ballot would be more balanced, and would allow employees to
vote without intimidation. It would also eliminate the voting irregularities that are occurring. The union is instead requiring employees to travel long distances to union meetings at inconvenient times such as Sunday morning. At some of these meetings, employees are exposed to blatant misinformation, and are required to vote in an
intimidating atmosphere. Safeway is asking the Court to require a mail ballot.
In addition, the Unfair Labor Practice charge, filed separately with the National Labor Relations Board, states that employees have been threatened by union officials.
Safeway is asking the agency to investigate the employees' claims.
David Faustman, Safeway's Senior Vice President of Labor Relations said, ``Safeway believes that the process should be fair, and that employees should be allowed to
vote on the contract offer conveniently and without misinformation and coercion.''