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Members of United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 working at Landover, Md.-based Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, a division of Supervalu in Minneapolis, have filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), claiming unlawful retaliation by their employer. The unionized employees allege that, ahead of a July 7 deadline to negotiate a new collective-bargaining agreement, the company has been attempting to intimidate them into accepting an unsatisfactory contract.
According to the associates, Shoppers’ tactics include preventing workers from talking with customers about the labor dispute, harassing them off the clock, unilaterally changing their vacation bonuses, imposing onerous hours on a union activist, interfering with another activist’s right to wear a UFCW Local 400 button and denying workers their free-speech rights through social media.
“We are committed to working with the union to reach a fair agreement that continues to provide our associates with good wages, access to affordable health care and secure retirement benefits,” said a Supervalu spokesman when contacted by Progressive Grocer. “Shoppers respects the rights of our associates to express their opinions and acts in accordance with all applicable labor laws. These allegations are without merit, and we will defend our position should the union decide to pursue them further. We believe that the parties need to focus on bargaining at the table to reach an agreement.”
Landover-based UFCW Local 400 represents 40,000 members working in the retail food, health care, retail department store, food-processing, service and other industries in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C.; West Virginia; Ohio; Kentucky; and Tennessee.