UFCW Local 324 has strongly opposed the proposed merger between Kroger and Albertsons since day one. Our position has not changed because of the news this morning.
Today’s announcement of a nearly identical divestiture scheme is a troubling sign that history could repeat itself, and raises more questions than it answers.
We’ve seen deals like this before. The news this morning is all reminiscent of the Haggen debacle where Albertsons bought Safeway in 2015 and subsequently sold off more than 100 stores to a chain called Haggen to pass antitrust review. Haggen declared bankruptcy only four months after the merger and 100+ stores were shut down, and thousands of workers were laid off. We have not been given any assurances that this deal with C&S is any different.
Important point – this sale is not happening *now* – it’s contingent on the overall merger being approved; so this deal only proceeds if and when the FTC approves. We don’t think this deal will appease the Federal Trade Commission or the various State Attorneys General that have expressed concerns over the merger.
We’re still gathering information on exactly how this will affect our hard-working members at these companies and as we get more information, will keep you informed on every step of the process.
Our highest priority is to ensure our members’ jobs, wages, pensions, and benefits are protected. We will use every resource to enforce our collective bargaining agreements and protect our members.
WHAT WE KNOW:
- Kroger and Albertsons have announced a divestiture plan with C&S Wholesale Grocers, LLC
- The agreement has C&S buying 413 stores, eight distribution centers, two offices and five private label brands across 17 states and the District of Columbia
- Up to an additional 237 stores may also be sold to C&S as part of the deal, depending on the results of the regulatory review of the merger with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- The stores that were not purchased as part of this deal would be folded into the Kroger brands
- C&S has agreed to maintain the collective bargaining agreements we currently have with the companies
WHAT WE’RE DOING ABOUT IT:
- We’re requesting all documentation from the International Union and the companies
- We’re demanding a list of stores that are going to be sold
- We’re going to keep gathering information on exactly how this will affect our hard-working members at these companies and will keep you informed on every step of the process.
- We’re continuing to engage with the FTC to raise concerns about the overall merger and today’s divestiture plan and urge the regulators to oppose this deal
If you have any questions regarding this news, please attend our membership meeting next Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at 6PM. John Marshall, certified financial analyst with UFCW Local 3000 and an advisor to UFCW 324 will be in attendance to help answer any questions you have.
The in-person meeting will be held at our UFCW Local 324 Hall or you can join us via Zoom. To join us via Zoom, you must register at the link below. Translation in Spanish will be available.
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Time: 6 PM
Location: UFCW Local 324 Hall, 8530 Stanton Ave. Buena Park, CA 90620
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