U.S. Food Workers Union Puts Pressure On Tesco

A U.S. food workers’ union has stepped up pressure on Tesco’s Fresh & Easy operations, reporting its ready-meals supplier in the U.S. to labor-relations officials yesterday for the alleged unfair firing of six employees, the UK Independent reported.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) claimed that 2 Sisters Food Group, a supplier to Tesco’s Fresh & Easy convenience store chain, sacked the workers for attending a union recruitment meeting and for filing complaints against managers.

It’s the latest broadside the UFCW launched against Fresh & Easy’s failure to recognize the union in the U.S., following their attendance at the grocer’s AGM in Birmingham, Ala., in June and two letters from Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama to Fresh & Easy boss Tim Mason and Tesco CEO Terry Leahy, according to the UK Independent.

"We have uncovered evidence that workers are being harassed and intimidated by 2 Sisters management to deter union activity, in clear contravention of US labor laws,” said UFCW campaign director Emily Stewart told the publication.

"2 Sisters Food Group vehemently denies it has violated in any way US labor law,” a 2 Sisters Food Group spokesman told the publication. “Specifically, it has not terminated the employment of any employee for union activity and has not engaged in intimidating tactics."

2 Sisters stressed it is "very committed" to its $60 million investment into its food-processing facility close to Fresh & Easy’s distribution centre in Riverside, Calif., where it aims to create 400 local jobs over the next four years.

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