GRAND RAPIDS — Reeling from turbulent times in manufacturing and the public sector, Michigan's unions have found an unlikely ally in their battle to stay relevant in the new economy.
"We think it's terrific that Meijer has an aggressive strategy to open new stores in Michigan and other states," stated Bob Potter, president of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 951.
Meijer opened new stores in GainesTownship and Standale last week. Three additional stores are scheduled to open in Michigan this year. New Michigan stores also opened recently in Rockford and Lincoln Park
A recent Meijer announcement declared plans to open dozens of new facilities in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Kentucky by 2009.
"At Local 951, we know that the retail environment is tough. That makes us appreciate all the more Meijer's business model that includes respect for workers and their rights," Potter said.
UFCW Local 951 represents Meijer workers at 87 stores in Michigan
Meijer workers also are represented by UFCW Local 227 in Louisville, UFCW Local 1099 in Cincinnati, and UFCW Local 1059 in Columbus and Toledo
UFCW Local 951 is one of Michigan's largest local unions, representing 33,000 members. The majority of 951's members work at Meijer, but the union also represents workers at Kroger, Harding's, Plumb's, Polly's, Knouse Foods, Dowagiac Nursing Home, Fry-Krisp, Kessel and Rite-Aid.