Piggly Wiggly Could Face Labor Charges

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Piggly Wiggly Midwest [4] could be forced to restore terms of a contract with union workers at four of its stores after authorities said the retailer violated labor law when altering the contract a year ago.

The National Labor Relations Board’s regional office in Milwaukee earlier this month said unfair labor charges filed by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1473 against the company had merit, while it summarily dismissed 12 counterclaims by the employer. Irv Gottschalk, director of the region for the NLRB, told SN Tuesday that Piggly Wiggly could submit to a settlement within the next week or could face a formal complaint before an administrative court judge. Typically, Gottschalk said, a court would look to restoring the status quo as a remedy.

The union charged that Piggly Wiggly imposed changes to premium pay and vacations unilaterally, and supported an attempt to decertify the union at a store in Kenosha.

Paul Butera, chief executive officer of Piggly Wiggly Midwest, told SN Tuesday the company disagreed with the decision and was planning a response. “I’ve been in business for 54 years, most of them with union stores,” Butera said. “I’ve never seen a union or a labor board so anti-business in my life.”