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Piggly Wiggly Midwest will pay more than $570,000 in back wages to 500 union employees at six of its Wisconsin stores as part of a recent settlement reached with the National Labor Relations Board, according to published reports.
The settlement follows the grocer signing new multiyear contracts earlier this month with its unionized employees, effectively ending the retailer’s long dispute with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1473.
Earlier this year, the NLRB ruled Piggly Wiggly Midwest violated the law by bad-faith bargaining with the union at four of its Wisconsin grocery stores; two of those stores were sold off as franchises last year. The ruling meant the grocer would have to undo policies it unilaterally imposed after it declared contract talks to be at impasse, and reimburse employees for those losses.
The new deal also includes reinstating discharged workers and the decision to keep open a Sheboygan, Wis., store that had been slated for closure.
Local 1473 had filed more than 120 unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB against the grocer for alleged infractions at various Piggly Wiggly Midwest stores, including bad faith bargaining, making unilateral changes to wages and working conditions, unlawful discharges and an unlawful attempt to promote a decertification petition.
The fight came to a head in June, when the grocer announced plans to close a corporate-owned 60,000-square-foot store, a 10-year-old facility located near the company’s headquarters, and lay off all 108 workers there, the Sheboygan Press reported.