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Do I lose my vacation or holidays if I don’t take them?

No, you do not lose your vacation or holidays if you don’t take them. The union encourages you to take your vacation and holidays following your anniversary date after you have earned those weeks and days. Please ask your employer for all vacation and holidays owed after your yearly anniversary date, along with your total hours worked and paid for, and your current rate of pay.

What do I do if I hurt myself on the job?

The first thing to do is contact your department head and/or store manager. Then if the injury is not too serious, fill out the First Report of Injury form. If you have general questions about your rights, two attorneys we recommend for workers compensation issues are Kari Quinn and Caroline Bell Beckman of Jensen, Bell, Converse & Erickson, PA. You can reach them at 651-223-4999. They will be happy to answer any questions for members of Local 653. If you need to retain them for representation, you will be responsible for their fees.

Do I have to work 15 hours in a week to have my Health and Welfare paid? (Not including carryout and part-time maintenance employees).

No. Any time you work a shift Monday – Saturday, regardless of length of shift, the employer is obligated to make a Health and Welfare contribution on your behalf.

If I’m a grocery stocker, can my manager make me push carts or bag groceries?

Yes. As long as you’re receiving the proper grocery rate of pay and the employer is still making Health and Welfare and Pension contributions, you can perform any duties with the exception of a journeyman/apprentice meat cutter’s duties.

If I leave my current employer and get hired by a different 653-covered employer, does my new employer have to recognize my rate of pay and vacations and seniority from my prior employer?

No. A new employer is not obligated to recognize any benefits earned or accrued by a prior employer.

What is FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave. FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal employment opportunity for men and women.

FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:

  • for the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee
  • for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition
  • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to FLSA principles for determining compensable hours or work.

Time taken off work due to pregnancy complications can be counted against the 12 weeks of family and medical leave.

(Taken from Department of Labor website: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm)

What are my rights under the Weingarten decision?

Your Weingarten Rights: In 1975, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in the Weingarten decision, that an employee is entitled to have a union representative present during any interview which may result in his or her discipline. It is up to you to insist on union representation. If you fail to do so, you may waive your rights.

If you are called into a meeting with any management representative and have reason to believe that disciplinary action may result, read them your Weingarten rights:

“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, I respectfully request that my union representative or steward be present at this meeting. Without representation, I choose not to answer any questions.”

Do the following:
1. Ask your supervisor if you might be disciplined as a result of the interview. If he/she says “No,” ask for a written statement to that effect. If he/she gives you such a statement, you must participate in the interview. If not, read him/her your Weingarten rights, remain for the meeting, take notes, and afterwards immediately contact your union representative.

2. If he/she says you might be disciplined but will not allow you to have a union representative present, read him your Weingarten rights, stay in the room, take notes, and do not respond to any questions. Afterwards, contact your union representative immediately. If the supervisor allows your union representative to be present, you should participate in the interview.

When and where are union meetings?

The second Monday of each month, October through May, 13000 63rd Avenue N, Maple Grove, MN 55369.

Who can I talk to about my grace weeks?

Wilson-McShane Corporation, our health and welfare office, at 952-854-0795 or 1-800-535-6373.

When should I get a withdrawal card?

Any time you are out of the industry for over 45 days.

How do I get a withdrawal card?

Send in a written request to UFCW Local 653 within 45 days of your last day of employment. Mail, email or fax the following information:

Full Name
City, State, Zip   
Last four digits of your social security number
Last Day Worked

UFCW Local 653-I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the circus tickets. It was a generous gift and much appreciated. It was a great time, and fun to be with my grandchildren. They enjoyed being greeted by Wally the Clown, the coloring bo… - Mary