ROCHESTER – Members of Teamsters Local Union 118 voted overwhelming Monday to reject a contract offer from Wegmans that would change their health care coverage and move them out of the union’s retirement plan and into a company plan.
The union said it will ask the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to settle the contract dispute. Business agent Kevin McIntosh said that the vote also served to authorize a strike, if necessary.
“Our members flatly said no to an offer that would immediately cut their compensation package, eradicate our pension and leave our spouses’ health care in jeopardy,” McIntosh said.
The union, which represents more than 900 warehouse workers, drivers and other skilled trades, has been in talks with the supermarket chain since March. Wegmans, headquartered in Rochester, operates 10 supermarkets in Erie and Niagara Counties. The dispute received attention Sunday when Teamsters officials hired a plane to fly over Ralph Wilson Stadium, trailing an anti-Wegmans message during the Buffalo Bills game. Wegmans management said it believes its final offer to the union would provide the most secure future for its members and their families.