Bashas' to Respond to NLRB Complaint

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- The National Labor Relations Board has asked Bashas' here to respond to a complaint alleging the retailer changed its benefit structure without negotiating those changes with a union.

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- The National Labor Relations Board has asked Bashas‘ here to respond to a complaint alleging the retailer changed its benefit structure without negotiating those changes with a union. United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99 represented employees at several stores acquired by Bashas' in 1994 and 2001. Local 99 does not currently have a labor contract with the retailer, but maintains it remains the exclusive collective bargaining representative of employees of those stores. The complaint concerns Bashas‘ changing to a “two-tiered” health benefit system in June requiring some employees to contribute to their health benefit costs. The union is asking the company maintain its previous benefit plan and refund any money paid toward the new system by union-affiliated employees. Bashas‘ in a statement called the complaint “another attempt by the union to force us to deal with them against the wishes of our employees.” A previous complaint by the union maintaining the new health plan violated a 2004 understanding that Bashas‘ would maintain the same benefits of unionized competitors Safeway and Fry‘s marketplace was dismissed by the NLRB, a Bashas‘ spokesman said. -- Jon Springer