November 13, 2006
Statement by United Food and Commercial Workers International Union President Joe Hansen on Royal Ahold Intention to Sel
(Washington DC) — The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) represents approximately 84,000 Ahold workers nationwide, employed under numerous company banners including Tops, Giant, and Stop & Shop.
The sale of its New York and Pennsylvania Tops stores will affect nearly 11,000 UFCW members.
The UFCW will continue to aggressively represent our members and enforce all union contract provisions while the company seeks a buyer for its Tops stores. We will actively engage with and impress on all potential buyers the necessity that UFCW members working at Tops stores maintain their union voice and good union wages and benefits.
UFCW members working at Ahold supermarket chains are some of the best and most productive workers in the industry, making Ahold’s U.S. operations, especially Giant and Stop & Shop, the crown jewels of the company.
Supermarkets operate to serve customers and serve communities. Grocery jobs with good wages, affordable health benefits and job security – like those that come with a union contract – are good for the local communities and economies in which they operate.
If Ahold attempts to sell its Top stores without regard for what becomes of the workers and the community post-sale, the company risks tarnishing its reputation at every banner operating in the U.S.
The UFCW is ready and eager to work with any potential buyer, one that knows and understands the dynamics of the supermarket industry.
We will not sit idly by and watch what happens and hope for the best – we will actively support the best situated and most enlightened bidders to actively engage in the bidding process for the betterment of the company, its future shareholders/owners, and for the more than 84,000 Ahold employees represented by the UFCW.
The UFCW intends to protect all Tops’ employees and the community members that make up Tops’ customer base by ensuring that their interests are well served.
UFCW local unions with members working under Ahold banners up and down the East Coast are united to take action in solidarity to support UFCW members employed by Tops.