2/13/08

Boycott by Teamsters leads members to decertify

Times Supermarkets (Honolulu, HI) management said Tuesday that 59 percent of its employees who are members of Teamsters Union Local 996 have signed petitions to decertify the union from representing them. Times officials said in a prepared statement that they have notified the union that it no longer represents the 65 employees, in keeping with federal labor laws. Teamsters officials could not be reached for comment.

Times owner John Quinn said the calling for a boycott of the supermarket chain by the Teamsters on Jan. 15 pushed the members to sign the petition. Times received the petition Monday.

"The boycott negatively affects our business and therefore restricts our ability to recall union members," Quinn said. "It hurts everyone -- union members, our 1,000 nonunion associates and the company itself. We're not surprised by this move to decertify."

The union members comprised 110 meat cutters, wrappers and fish cutters who went on strike Dec. 18 over failed negotiations for medical coverage and pension plans. When strikers began returning to work in January, the union called for the customer boycott.

Times officials said they thought the union would make more bargaining proposals, but it never did.

Quinn said the company plans to bring back employees who have been out of work as business allows. Approximately 40 workers have been recalled to work, 38 of whom have returned. Two are out on medical leave. Others have stopped working for Times and gone on to other jobs.

(bizjournals.com)

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