Safeway Blames “Unforeseen Glitch” for Missing Wage Hike

UFCW Local 555 filed a class action grievance against Albertsons/Safeway for not meeting the timeline of its new contract.

United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 555 filed a labor grievance last month against Albertsons and Safeway, alleging the company failed to increase wages in the time frame stipulated by a new contract.

“Albertsons/Safeway has failed to implement wage increases by the time required by our contract,” Miles Eshaia, communications coordinator for UFCW Local 555, said in a statement. “UFCW Local 555 has filed a class action grievance demanding that they put the wage increases in place immediately and pay affected workers interest on the money they are owed.”

Eshaia added that about 9,500 members throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington are impacted.

Jill McGinnis, director of communications and public affairs for Albertsons/Safeway, attributes the failed wage increases to a technology error.

“We regret the delay in our implementation. Unfortunately, this was due to an unforeseen glitch associated with a new technology platform we are using,” McGinnis wrote in an email to WW. “However, we remain committed to rectifying this situation so that impacted associates will receive the full amount owed as soon as possible.”

Wage increases were a point of contention between Albertsons/Safeway and UFCW Local 555 in the negotiations of their latest contract. The two sides were “very far apart on what is deemed an acceptable wage increase” in mid-November of 2021, according to a statement issued by the .

UFCW Local 555 announced the ratification of its three-year contract with Albertsons/Safeway in March. In addition to wage increases, the new contract included improved safety and workplace protections, retirement security, and the continuation of workers’ health plan.

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