A Paramount-based supermarket chain said Thursday that allegations that it tried to curtail union activity at its stores were “inaccurate, misleading and irresponsible.”

The National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint Wednesday against the El Super chain for allegedly restraining employees from advocating for union representation.

The complaint accuses the company of “interfering with, restraining and coercing” its employees from working toward a contract with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 — including the suspension and termination of a cashier/shop steward.

“UFCW’s claims are grossly inaccurate, misleading and irresponsible,” according to a prepared statement from the El Super chain.

“The filing of unfair labor practices is common practice — by both sides — in a labor dispute,” the company stated. “We find it telling that the UFCW has omitted the fact that a similar complaint has been issued by the government against the union, and is currently pending hearing. The UFCW has twisted the facts to sensationalize what is nothing more than procedural due process.”

The NLRB also accused the company of refusing to bargain with the union.

Rick Icaza president of UFCW Local 770, said Wednesday that the NLRB filing was “a good step forward toward getting this company back to the table to negotiate a fair and equitable contract.”

The El Super chain also pointed out in its statement that a complaint is “merely an allegation” and signals no findings of a violation of federal labor law.

“The allegation will be heard before an administrative law judge,” according to the company, adding that such a hearing “in no way is a government prosecution; the hearing is for purposes of administrative fact finding.”

The UFCW represents about 600 El Super workers at seven stores in the Southland. The chain’s employees have been working without a contract since September 2013, according to the union.

City News Service

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