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Wegmans Food Markets and Teamsters Local 118 have agreed to New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy’s request for both parties to resolve the issues preventing the adoption of a new labor agreement covering 900 warehouse workers, drivers and skilled tradesmen at the grocer’s headquarters in Rochester, N.Y.
In a letter, Duffy asked Local 118 and Wegmans "to return to the bargaining table, for the benefit of our local communities and with the intention of finalizing a labor agreement by Oct. 15.”
Negotiations are scheduled to resume on Oct. 11, and Duffy or his appointee will be available to the parties in case assistance is needed.
Part of the reason that Duffy called for renewed negotiations was that the shutdown of the federal government has closed such offices as the Federal Mediation and Conciliation service and National Labor Relations Board.
“As the former mayor of Rochester and the current lieutenant governor of New York state, I urge both groups to work together,” said Duffy. “I have a positive relationship with, and great respect for, both organizations, and I would be willing to assist the process in any way that could help lead to a positive resolution.”
The two sides appeared to have reached an impasse after Local 118’s rejection of Wegmans’ “last, best and final” offer, with the grocer girding for what seemed an imminent strike.