Fred Meyer workers say grocery giant shorting paychecks, labor union considers lawsuits

FILE - This March 1, 2018 file photo shows a Fred Meyer store is shown in Portland, Ore.,...
FILE - This March 1, 2018 file photo shows a Fred Meyer store is shown in Portland, Ore., Thursday, March 1, 2018.(Don Ryan | AP)
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 3:34 PM PST
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TIGARD Ore. (KPTV) - A labor union that represents workers at Fred Meyer and QFC stores in Oregon, southwest Washington, Idaho and Wyoming, said on Thursday that they are connecting grocery workers with attorneys after a series of disrupted paychecks.

Local 555: United Food and Commercial Workers Union said Fred Meyer and QFC stores have been issuing incorrect, short or late paychecks.

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Lisa Loucks, UFCW 555 grievance director, said that while the union has a “very strong grievance procedure,” they are also connecting members to attorneys to help them get compensation for hardships caused by payment issues.

“As the damage is ongoing and is becoming more than just a simple correction on next week’s check, we are helping our members get help from outside attorneys who may be able to initiate class-action lawsuits to not only recover their lost wages, but also assess and possibly recover additional punitive damages not available under the labor agreement,” Loucks said.

Dan Clay, UFCW Local 555 union president, said workers are being pushed into a financial hole by the delayed income.

“Kroger, who owns Fred Meyer and QFC, implemented new accounting software they didn’t know how to use,” Clay said. “When you are living paycheck to paycheck, a short or missed check isn’t just a temporary inconvenience; it can mean racking up late payments on rent and bills, skipped meals, and struggling to afford gas.”

A spokesperson for Fred Meyer said they are working to quickly resolve known issues with the new payment software.

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“We have launched a new integrated HR platform providing a streamlined and enhanced experience for our associates,” the Fred Meyer spokesperson said. “Through the conversion we have experienced a technical error in paycheck distribution. Although a small percentage of our associates have been affected, we understand the impact.”