OPERATIONS

Teamsters reject Wegmans contract

BY Dan Berthiaume

Rochester, N.Y. – Teamsters Local 118 members on Monday overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer from Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. that would eliminate the pensions of more than 900 Rochester employees and not provide health care for their spouses. Local 118 will immediately request the participation of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to settle the outstanding contract.

"Our members flatly said no to an offer that would immediately cut their compensation package, eradicate our pension and leave our spouses’ health care in jeopardy," said Kevin McIntosh, Teamsters Local 118 business agent. By rejecting the contract, Teamsters Local 118 also authorized strike action.

Wegmans reports that it is offering a pay increase of more than 18%, although the contract would eliminate the $4.82 members have voluntarily diverted from wages to their pension fund. The company also refused to agree to contract language that would protect spouses under the contract. Wegmans faces unfair labor practice charges for violations of federal labor law that protect workers’ rights and prevent the company from unilaterally changing working conditions – in this case after workers protested the company’s proposal to eliminate their pension benefits. The charges will be investigated by Region 3 of the National Labor Relations Board in Buffalo, N.Y.

Teamsters Local 118, which represents more than 900 Wegmans warehouse workers, drivers and other skilled trades, has been in negotiations with Wegmans since March.

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REAL ESTATE

Fairway Market plans Long Island store

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Fairway Group Holdings Corp., the parent company of grocery chain Fairway Market, will open a 53,000-sq.-ft. store in the DSW Plaza at 4000 Middle Country Road in Lake Grove Long Island, N.Y., in spring 2014.

The new store will be the first Fairway Market location in Suffolk County on Long Island and the 15th food store in the tri-state New York, New Jersey and Connecticut region.

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News

Meijer to raise Obamacare awareness with Mich.-based health plan

BY CSA STAFF

Meijer plans to address the need many consumers have for more information about the health insurance exchanges that are part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The Michigan-based mass-merchandise retailer announced that it would partner with Michigan health plan Priority Health to raise awareness and help customers obtain information about their options as open enrollment for health insurance begins. The new program includes a website, Health Reform and You! and informational brochures distributed at the chain’s 203 stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

"We know patients will have questions about their health care, and we consider it important to be able to help them get the answers they need regarding the Affordable Care Act," Meijer drug store VP Nat Love said. "Meijer is committed to providing options to help our customers lead healthier lives. We want to help them find the information they will need to make the best choices for the health care of their families while addressing any questions or confusion they may have."

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