UFCW 655 files unfair labor charges against MERS Goodwill for withholding raises to union members

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Retaliating against workers who voted to join union, MERS gave raise to all employees but them

By ED FINKELSTEIN
Publisher

UNION WORKERS at MERS Goodwill’s Festus, Mo. store are finding their employer has none as MERS has withheld a scheduled raise while providing the increase to every other employee after workers at the Festus store rejected an effort to decertify their union, UFCW Local 655. The union has filed an unfair labor practices charge against MERS with the National Labor Relations Board.

UFCW Local 655 has filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against MERS Goodwill for their failing to give a scheduled raise to two dozen employees at their now-unionized Festus store while providing the increase to every other store they operate.

“…as workers continue to struggle….Goodwill is withholding a scheduled raise for its employees simply to punish hard-working men and women for exercising their legal right to bargain collectively,” said Local 655 President David Cook in a message to all his members.

 

YET ANOTHER STALLING TACTIC

This is only the latest in the efforts by Goodwill CEO Dave Kutchback to try and destroy the workers’ efforts to join the union. They voted 18 months ago to join Local 655 and recently overwhelmingly rejected a decertification effort.

Kutchback, after stalling talks for over a year and his employees winning two elections, has now sued the NLRB because the agency allowed mail balloting for the decertification election in this time of a worldwide pandemic.

PHONY GOODWILL PUBLIC FACE
“While I do not expect employers to always welcome unions with a warm embrace, and while I am accustomed to disagreements between employers and unions representing their workers, I still find myself saddened and angry that an employer like Goodwill would engage in such awful anti-union, anti-worker behavior,” Cook said, pointing out that Goodwill, “while presenting itself to the public as a kind and caring community partner, is apparently no different than the cutthroat employers we’ve all become familiar with. They have no desire to ‘change lives through the power of work.’”

Cook, pointing out that Kutchback earns hundreds of thousands in salary plus thousands in bonuses, wants “…to continue to exploit the generous donations of the community to generate profits for a handful of executives while using their lawyers and their power to keep their employees down.”

UNION WILL CONTINUE FIGHT
Stating clearly that Local 655 will fight for its newest members Cook added: “ No one who works full time should have to live in poverty, and no one who seeks to make a full-time job into a livable wage job by joining a union should be punished by their employer. No one who chooses to use their legal rights to join a union should be treated with such contempt.”



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