Director of Collective Bargaining and Director of Retail for the UFCW District Union Local Two Chad Price issued the following statement to the Democrat by phone Friday afternoon concerning some of the questions raised after employees at the Bing’s East and West Grocery Store locations were notified Wednesday of the closure of both Sedalia locations.
“Right now where we’re at is that the Union received a letter on Sept. 8 from Webb and Sons notifying us in writing of their decision of a complete store closure at both Bing’s locations in Sedalia,” Price said. “Once we received the written notification, the WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) went into effect.”
The WARN Act is a 60-day notice that goes into effect when a store announces a complete closure.
“This is not a temporary layoff for the employees and there are no recall rights because it is a complete closure,” Price explained. “We have contacted the AFL-CIO and notified them of the closure.
“We are in the process of sending a letter to Webb and Sons in which we hope to start the process of engaging in meaningful effects bargaining in negotiation of severance packages for the 80 employees who we represent.”
Price added that the UFCW was doing all they could both legally and contractually for the workers who are union members.
“It is unknown to us why the decision was made to close the stores and it is also unknown at this time if there is a buyer for the locations,” Price added. “It is a very unfortunate situation for both our members and the community.”
Hy-Vee also issued an official response to the Democrat on Friday regarding the possible opening of a store in Sedalia.
“At this time we do not have plans to build a Hy-Vee store in Sedalia,” Tara Deering Hansen, Group Vice President, Communications for Hy-Vee Inc., said via email.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.