UFCW: Grocery chains failed to pay workers
Nov 1, 2003 12:00 PM
Charging that thousands of locked-out supermarket workers have been denied money due them, the United Food and Commercial Workers has filed two new legal complaints against operators of the three main grocery chains in Southern California.
One of the complaints alleges that Ralph's (owned by Kroger Co) and Albertson's failed to present “reporting time pay” to employees who showed up for work as scheduled October 11-12. The workers were turned away by management in a show of solidarity with the Vons grocery chain (owned by Safeway Inc).
Workers at Vons stores have been on strike since October 11 in a dispute with the company over health benefits, pensions, and workplace protections. Workers at Ralph's and Albertson's continue to be locked out by their employers.
UFCW attorneys said that Ralph's and Albertson's violated California labor laws when they failed to pay workers a guaranteed percentage of wages they would have earned in their scheduled work shifts.
The second complaint is filed against Ralph's, Albertson's, and Vons for failing to pay employees all of their earned wages, including vacation and sick pay, by a legal deadline. California labor law states that, in case of a strike or lockout, employees are entitled to all earned, unpaid wages by the next payday, the attorneys said. That payday came and went October 16.
No new negotiations are scheduled between the supermarket companies and seven UFCW locals.
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