On June 13, the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1564 filed a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) for unfair labor practices against Smith’s Food & Drug Centers Inc.
UFCW Local 1564 represents approximately 2,000 Smith’s employees throughout New Mexico in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Los Lunas, Socorro, Grants, Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Taos.
According to the grievance, Smith’s and the union were scheduled to meet on consecutive days between June 2−7, in an effort to reach agreement before contracts for the meat department and retail expired June 7.
The grievance reads: “Smith’s engaged in surface bargaining and consistently refused to engage in economic negotiations. On June 4, 2014, Smith’s abruptly terminated negotiations and suspended all bargaining.”
At the time the grievance was filed, Smith’s had not responded to the union’s request to schedule additional dates for negotiations, although the company has since proposed one date, Wednesday, which the union has agreed to.
Smith’s is also insisting on bringing in a Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) negotiator.
Marsha Gilford, vice president of public affairs at Smith’s Food & Drug, explained the company’s position.