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Supermarket workers’ union accuses Waldbaum’s of unfair practices

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW, which represents more than 18,000 supermarket, dairy and health care workers in New York, has filed unfair labor charges against A&P’s Waldbaum’s, alleging that the company is engaging in unfair labor practices during its negotiations for a new contract for about 90 pharmacists at 35 area stores.

The pharmacist contract expired April 1, and a contract extension expired April 30. A strike vote was approved on May 13. Negotiations are set to resume June 25.

A spokeswoman for A&P said, “In respect of the diligence and efforts of the respective parties, it is A&P’s position not to comment on details of negotiations.”

According to the union, among the charges are complaints that the company is forcing employees to remove pro-union buttons and stickers, calling the police on union representatives engaged in protected activities such as consumer leafleting, disseminating false and misleading information at employer’s mandatory meetings with pharmacists and refusing to supply the union wage information concerning the pharmacists’ per-diem and that of non-union pharmacists.

“In addition to all of these very blatant violations, the company has stalled our negotiations because they refuse to come to any agreement unless the union agrees to allow the company to withdraw from the Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW retirement plan,” stated Local 338 secretary-treasurer John DeMartino. “The pharmacists will not give in on this issue. They are standing strong and refuse to agree to any contract that doesn’t include coverage by the Local 338 retirement plan, and the union will continue to fight to ensure our members are guaranteed that coverage and that they are provided fair and equitable wages.”

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J&J, Red Cross patch up red cross dispute

BY Alaric DeArment

The American Red Cross and Johnson & Johnson have ended the legal dispute over their use of the red cross emblem.

The pharmaceutical giant and medical relief organization, both have which have used the emblem for more than 100 years, will both be able to use it, a U.S. District Court ruled Tuesday.

J&J brought a trademark infringement lawsuit against the American Red Cross last August. According to the lawsuit, J&J has used the symbol on its products since 1887 and made an agreement with the American Red Cross in 1895 that the company had the exclusive right to use the emblem for its products. A 1900 Congressional charter granted the relief organization the right to use it for its relief work.

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Walgreens donates water, supplies to flooded in Iowa

BY Alaric DeArment

DEERFIELD, Ill. As residents of Iowa struggle with the severe flooding in several areas of the state, Walgreens has stepped in to help.

In collaboration with the American Red Cross and the Linn County Emergency Management Authority, Walgreens has donated two semi-trailers of bottled water, as well as cleaning and personal-care products. Stores have also increased supplies of cleaning products and fans for people returning to their homes.

Flooding forced Walgreens’ store at 102 2nd St. in Coralville, Iowa, to close, but it has kept its other store, at 2751 Heartland Drive, open to fill prescriptions.

Floodwaters also breached a levee on the Mississippi River near Meyer, Ill., Wednesday, threatening to cover thousands of acres of farmland along a 25-mile stretch of the river, CNN.com reported.

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