FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2023
Contact: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern California Grocery Store Workers, Asm. Josh Lowenthal and Community Members Urge Community to Say: “Stop the Merger!”
Stop the Merger Coalition Take Action Across US to Oppose Kroger-Albertsons Mega-merger
Buena Park, CA – Today, local grocery store workers, Assembly member Josh Lowenthal (AD 69), and community members rallied in front of Ralphs in Lakewood, calling to “Stop the Merger” and protect our communities from the disastrous effects of the proposed mega-merger of grocery giants Kroger (Ralphs in Southern California) and Albertsons.
“I know that when working people, elected officials and communities come together, we can make everlasting change in our lives,” said Andrea Zinder, president, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 324. “It’s critical that we remain strong and united to protect workers, customers, food suppliers, and our communities from the disastrous effects of this merger. Losing good jobs affects all areas of our communities, lowers the standard of living for all workers and destroys cities. Customers who already pinch pennies to afford groceries for their families will see even higher prices at the checkout stand. But we won’t let that stand. We’ll continue to do everything we can to stop this merger and protect communities.”
If the $24.6 billion mega-merger is approved, it will drive out competition, close neighborhood grocery stores, raise food prices for already struggling consumers, increase food deserts in our state, and put an estimated 5,750 workers out of jobs alone in Southern California. The Ralphs store workers rallied at is located within one mile of both a Vons store and an Albertsons store. If the merger is approved by the Federal Trade Commission, one or more of these stores could be slated for closure.
“Workers like me helped make the billions of dollars of profits Kroger and Albertsons executives have enjoyed since the pandemic,” said Steve Manzanares, a grocery clerk at Ralphs in Lakewood. “The more than 80 workers at my Ralphs should not be worried about losing their jobs, feeding their families or supporting our communities because of this merger. Our customers shouldn’t be worrying about affording to feed their families when prices raise because of this merger. I’m proud so many of my community came out today and said loud and clear to ‘Stop the Merger.’”
The event in Lakewood was part of a week of action where grocery workers from seven UFCW local unions – representing over 100,000 Kroger and Albertsons workers in eleven states and the District of Columbia – will hold actions in front of grocery stores to connect with customers about the impacts of the proposed mega-merger.
Since Kroger and Albertsons announced their proposed $24.6 billion mega-merger in October 2022, grocery workers, elected officials, consumer groups and other stakeholders have raised the alarm about the negative impact of the merger on workers, shoppers, and food suppliers such as farmers and ranchers. Last month, a national coalition of over 100 organizations united to “Stop the Merger” was announced with a new website: nogrocerymerger.com/.
For more information on the negative impact of the mega-merger, please visit: NoGroceryMerger.com.
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