Smith's Union: Earnings uptick belies cuts

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Smith’s says offer includes wage increases and bonuses

By Garrison Wells

Kroger’s latest earnings report has triggered another attack by the union that represents employees at Smith’s Food & Drug centers.
In a written statement Wednesday, the union said that Smith’s parent company “revealed strong growth in an allegedly hurting economy.”
“It certainly makes sense to make reductions when sales or budgets are down, but here we have big business doing well and wanting to take advantage of the employees who are hurting in this economic climate,” the press release said. “Cuts aren’t needed when profit and sales have exceeded. Cuts hurt our families, our community and our economy.”
Smith’s, however, pointed out that its offer “provides more money for our associates with wage increases and bonuses.”
It also includes a more dollars for health care.
“We are asking for a very modest co-premium from associates that is consistent with UFCW contracts across the country,” said Marsha Gilford, Smith’s spokeswoman.
An example she gave was $15 a week for full family coverage.
“Smith’s has provided a good offer to our associates,” she said. “It’s a good proposal, especially in the economy.”

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