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    Piggly Wiggly Midwest At Odds with Union

    Federal judge finds in favor of employees criticizing grocer's bargaining methods

    The National Labor Relations Board has decided Piggly Wiggly Midwest broke the law by bad-faith bargaining with the union at four of its Wisconsin grocery stores, according to published reports.

    NLRB Regional Director Irv Gottschalk’s office informed Sheboygan, Wis.-based Piggly Wiggly Midwest and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1473 that he found merit to most of the union’s numerous allegations of bad-faith bargaining by the company, the Racine Journal Times reported.

    “Piggly Wiggly is not aware of any complaint being issued by the director of Region 30 of the National Labor Relations Board against Piggly Wiggly concerning negotiations for a contract covering our employees,” Robert Simandl, one of Piggly Wiggly Midwest’s attorneys, said in a statement. “The company has worked hard to negotiate for a fair agreement to cover our employees with health insurance, paid vacations, paid holidays and wage increases. The company has persisted in its attempts to reach out to the [union] vice president in hopes of negotiating an agreement for our employees, and will continue to do so.”

    Gottschalk will reportedly suggest a settlement under which Piggly Wiggly would restore the status quo back to March 2011, six months before the union filed its complaint. Piggly Wiggly would have to reverse policies it imposed after it declared contract talks to be at impasse and reimburse employees for those losses.

    Six Piggly Wiggly stores, four in the Racine area and two in Kenosha, were covered by the same collective-bargaining agreement and are affected by the NLRB ruling. Two other Piggly Wiggly stores reportedly were covered by that same contract but sold off as franchises last year. However, the union alleges they were not true sales but rather attempts by the company to shed itself of the union at both locations.
     

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