The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ordered the El Super grocery store chain to pay 549 current and former employees a total of $363,000 in back pay. The NLRB began mailing letters notifying affected employees of the forthcoming payouts late last week. The payouts are part of an agreement the company signed to settle unfair labor practice charges that the vacation rights of El Super workers, who are also members of the UFCW, were violated by the company.
“El Super UFCW members are about to see the benefit of working together with their union,” said UFCW Local 770 President Ricardo F. Icaza.
There are 319 current El Super employees due to receive back pay totaling $255,694.38, and 230 former employees are to receive $108,052.49.
In July 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted the NLRB’s petition for a preliminary injunction that prohibited Bodega Latina Corp., El Super’s parent company, from making unilateral changes to its vacation policy.
One month later, Bodega Latina agreed to settle unfair labor practice charges filed by the UFCW that claimed that the company’s unilateral changes to the vacation policy violated their federally protected labor rights. Under the terms of the settlement agreement with the U.S. Government, El Super agreed to restore the company’s vacation policy, and eliminate unilateral changes that required employees to work at El Super a year before they were eligible for annual leave benefits.
Fermin Rodriguez, an El Super cashier and member of the UFCW Local 770 negotiating committee, said, “This is a significant victory, but we are still fighting to win fair wages, a 40-hours guarantee for full-time workers, stronger seniority protections, adequate paid sick days, dignity and respect!”
Mr. Rodriguez was reinstated to his position at El Super #13 in South Los Angeles as a part of El Super’s agreement to settle charges that his termination in January 2015 violated his right to speak out in support of his union.