Giant Eagle files charges against employees' union

Some Giant Eagle employees said they feel victimized by a federal lawsuit the company has filed, but the grocery store chain said the lawsuit was filed in response to improper union activity.

The battle is over several part-time workers who want to be full time. Giant Eagle made the concession, but the company first filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the union.

The dispute started in January, when nine employees went into the manager’s office of the South Side Giant Eagle and demanded two full-time positions be added. The employees said they were tired of being categorized as part-time employees while working full-time hours.

Giant Eagle agreed to the change, but filed the charges with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming the employees failed to bargain in good faith.

"They say that we're family here. But you don't sue your family. That's not how you treat family,” Giant Eagle employee Stephanie Fellow said.

In a statement to Channel 11, a Giant Eagle spokesman said: "While we are unable to comment on the specific details of pending litigation, we can clarify that Giant Eagle has taken no legal action against its individual team members. The referenced charges have been filed against the union in response to improper union activity."

On Tuesday, several Giant Eagle employees joined local groups to protest the company’s treatment of part-time workers. The demonstration ended when protesters marched into Giant Eagle to speak with management directly.

"I just told him the church would be looking at them, praying for them and letting them know they should do right by their employees," pastor Ken Love, of Alpha Omega House Ministries, said.

The NLRB could take several months to decide the case.