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December 20, 2016 was a great day for Foster Farms Employees: their new five-year contract was ratified! It includes hard money raises each year, locks in the percentage rate for Health & Welfare for the duration of the contract, includes Active Ballot Club (ABC) language, and offers a signing bonus of either $600 or $1,000 for members (depending on their length of service with the company).
Many thanks to the dedicated bargaining committee who worked extraordinarily hard to help their co-workers by getting the best possible contract in place. See inside for more photos on the member spotlight pages.
Mike Marshal, Executive Director
First, let me say that I share the frustration our Fred Meyer members have rightfully been feeling due to a series of mistakes in retro payments that affected some of us. I’m writing this to explain the situation to date so that we can all be on the same page. Let me also say that of late we’ve developed a good working relationship with Fred Meyer and it does appear that this was an innocent mistake that was not intended to disrespect or inconvenience our members (even though it felt that way to all of us). I am pleased to have the power of the Union behind us in times like these, so that we can all stand together to help solve problems effectively.
So, what happened? Well, we began getting some complaints from members about the retro checks not being correct shortly after they were initially issued. We spoke with Fred Meyer and asked them to investigate the situation. They discovered that the trouble (about 3,600 checks, originally) was with Kroger’s payroll in Cincinnati. We agreed that Fred Meyer would send out letters to those who were overpaid, outlining their options.
As you may know, some of the calculations in those letters from Kroger’s payroll division turned out to be incorrect. We immediately spoke with Fred Meyer again to alert them. We suggested that transparency in the calculations would make future notifications easier to confirm; they agreed.
Fred Meyer rescinded all of those letters and planned to reissue them after checking again for accuracy. The new letters, at our request, include a statement of hours used to create the retro pay so that we’ll all have a higher degree of confidence and certitude in the numbers used. As of the printing of this newspaper, affected employees should have received those corrected letters.
Under the terms of our Collective Bargaining Agreements with Fred Meyer, they had the right to deduct any amount owed for overpayments that occurred within the last 90 days. However, we worked with them to agree to limit the deductions to no more than $30 per paycheck (unless the member chose otherwise). If you have any further concerns after receiving the new letters, please don’t hesitate to contact your Fred Meyer HR department directly. You may also wish to contact your Union Rep for further assistance.
Thank you to all of you for your patience while we worked with Fred Meyer and Kroger’s home office to resolve this.
Fred Meyer corporate offices informed Local 555 that the members who were owed retroactive pay and did not receive it should be limited to the Portland area.
As noted last week, members who did not receive retro pay and are owed it should be getting it this pay cycle. If you do not receive it this Thursday, or do not think your retro pay was calculated correctly, please contract the HR department in your store. They have been instructed by corporate, as well as given the tools, to resolve any issues with retro pay you may have.
If you need additional assistance please contact your Union Representative.