Updated: 09/30/2013 10:39 PM
Created: 09/30/2013 9:30 PM WHEC.com
There is a development in the contract dispute between Wegmans, and Teamsters Local 118. In a vote Monday, the Teamsters have voted down the contract offered to them by Wegmans.
Teamsters Local 118, which represents more than 900 Wegmans warehouse workers, drivers and other skilled trades, has been in negotiations with Wegmans since March.
In a statement sent to News10NBC by the union, Teamsters Local 118 business agent, Kevin McIntosh said, "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."
By rejecting the contract, Teamsters Local 118 also authorized strike action.
In a response from Wegmans, CEO, Danny Wegman said, "It is extremely frustrating that the Teamsters' desire to keep Wegmans from leaving its troubled pension fund put our employees in the position it did. We made an offer to provide a more secure future for our people, and the union responded with misinformation and pressure on its own members - our employees - to reject that offer. We are very concerned."
Also In response to the teamster earlier statement, Mike Cullen, Vice President of distribution said, "At the eleventh hour, the Teamsters Union proposed that we make no changes in health care coverage for the life of the contract. We replied that we would keep the current language in the contract (in place since 1996) that allows us to make changes to their coverage when we do so for the rest of the company. Wegmans covers spouses now, and we have no plans to change this. We informed the union of this at the bargaining table, and we have no idea why they decided to create false fear in the minds of our employees anyway."
Wegmans also responded to the possibility of a strike by saying they are prepared to mobilize a comprehensive plan to ensure that stores remain open without interruption.
We will bring you any updates as we get them, and on News10NBC at 11pm.