Fred Meyer Retro Payments: The Full Story

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Fred Meyer rescinded all of those letters and planned to reissue them after checking again for accuracy.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.