Union to Kroger: Fix your payroll problems
Original Article: https://www.thestand.org/?p=113139
UFCW 367 calls on Fred Meyer, QFC parent company to pay employees what they’ve earned amid payroll software glitches
TACOMA (Dec. 14, 2022) — A number of the 2,700 Kroger employees represented by UFCW 367 who work in Fred Meyer and QFC stores in Pierce, Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Pacific and Grays Harbor counties are facing paycheck shortages due to a faulty new payroll system implemented this fall, according to the union.
UFCW 367 announced that it has filed a class-action grievance on behalf of the affected workers and is collecting wage-and-hour claim forms to be submitted to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. As it continues these efforts to ensure Kroger employees are paid what they have earned, the union is demanding that the company fix its payroll system immediately and stop the harm being caused to employees and their families.
“Essential grocery store workers shouldn’t have to worry about making ends meet during the holiday season,” said UFCW 367 President Michael Hines. “Kroger needs to step up and take care of their associates.”
The union says that members at Fred Meyer and QFC have reported various payroll problems, including:
● Receiving no paycheck, some for as long as three weeks.
● Being denied contractual wage increases that should have gone into effect on Oct. 16, 2022.
● Confusing paycheck stubs that fail to explain earnings or new deductions.
● Other pay errors that continue to occur on a weekly basis.
Fred Meyer and QFC workers in the south Puget Sound area are not the only ones experiencing payroll issues. After Fred Meyer workers in Oregon and Southwest Washington experienced missing or shortchanged paychecks, company officials acknowledged to The Oregonian in November that payroll software problems had occurred. But the company claimed only a small percentage of its employees were affected.
Meanwhile, attorney Richard Myers of Bennett Hartman has filed a class-action lawsuit against Fred Meyer on behalf of two workers who weren’t properly paid. The Northwest Labor Press reports:
Filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, the lawsuit explains that Fred Meyer began using a new payroll software system in September. Since then, workers have had missing or late paychecks, been paid incorrect wages, had their hours incorrectly recorded, had incorrect deductions from their paychecks, seen direct deposits get canceled, and more.
Kroger’s payroll problems come as the company is focused on a proposed $24.6 billion merger with Albertsons Companies, Inc., and trying to convince federal regulators that the merger would not create a monopoly that harms consumers or results in widespread store closures. Unions representing grocery store workers — UFCW 7 in Colorado, UFCW 324 and UFCW 770 in California, UFCW 367 in Pierce and surrounding counties, UFCW 3000 across Washington state, and Teamsters 38 in Everett — strongly oppose the Kroger-Albertsons merger.
Homegrown cafe workers vote Union Yes!
The following is from UNITE HERE Local 8:SEATTLE (Dec. 13, 2022) — Workers at Homegrown’s cafes are excited to have won their NLRB union election just weeks after Homegrown’s wholesale distribution workers at Catapult NW won theirs. The cafe workers are eager to join their distribution colleagues in negotiating a fair contract that will provide the wages, benefits, and health and safety protections that would make their jobs at Homegrown sustainable.
Workers in Homegrown’s cafes and wholesale distribution filed for union elections with the NLRB in October after company-wide delegations, picketing, job actions, and leafleting of customers and clients. They have organized as Homegrown Workers Uniting for Sustainable Jobs with UNITE HERE Local 8. (Follow them at @OurUnionIsHG.)
TAKE A STAND — Sign the solidarity petition with Homegrown workers to support them as they bargain for a fair contract.
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