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BevMo! employees suffer drastic cuts

August 13, 2010 9:30:04 AM PDT
Hundreds of employees at the liquor store chain BevMo! are pushing to unionize the company, after some very bad news.

Longtime employees learned they will now be part-time, which means they stand to lose their medical and 401K benefits at the end of the year.

BevMo! employees teamed up with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union at Jack London Square. Many veteran clerks got letters saying they were demoted to part-time status effective immediately.

"Hours drastically dropped from 40-plus to 20, even 15 hours a week," BevMo! Worker Charlie Blatz said.

"My house is in foreclosure," BevMo! worker Catherine Cordero said.

Cordero also stands to lose her health benefits, since she is no longer a full-time worker.

"We want to fight back for our hours and our health care insurance," she said.

Meanwhile, BevMo!'s CEO called the complaints misleading and inaccurate. In a statement, he said, "We at BevMo! have always considered our employees first. We are disappointed the union has chosen to mislead our employees in this way."

BevMo! says they've reduced hours to weather the economic storm and that the 163 former full-time workers will not actually lose their health coverage until 2011.

"BevMo!, owned by Towerback, has chosen the path of padding profits for expansion by cutting worker pay and health benefits," United Food Workers President Ron Lind said.

"So at the same time they're making these cuts, they're building more stores and hiring more people," union organizer James Grogan said. "The question is, are they going to be part-time or full-time jobs."

The union is collecting signatures to pressure the company into reconsidering.

Update:

On Friday a BeVMo! company health benefits spokesperson said the company will extend health care coverage for those employees who were moved from full to part time status through 2011.


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