UFCW Statement on A&P Bankruptcy Developments

A&PFor Immediate Release: July 24, 2015

Contact: press@ufcw.org

Montvale, N.J. – The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union International President Marc Perrone, released the following statement on behalf of UFCW Locals 27, 100R, 152, 342, 371, 400, 464-A, 1245, 1262, 1360, 1500, 1776 and RWDSU Locals 338 and 1034, after meeting with A&P executives to discuss the future of A&P and its proposed sale.

“For years, the hard-working men and women of A&P not only did their jobs, they personally and financially sacrificed to invest in A&P’s success. These sacrifices were made for the sake of their families, their co-workers, and the customers and communities that they deeply care about. Now, at this critical time, after repeated mismanagement and strategic mistakes made by company executives, A&P is asking for even more. Enough is enough!

“Instead of asking for more sacrifices to pay-off a select group of executives and corporate investors, A&P should be focusing on their workers and their families during this challenging time.

“We want to be very clear, our members and their families sacrificed. They invested financially and personally in the success of these stores and they remain committed to working hard to make these stores a success for any responsible buyers. But make no mistake, we will not take part in any effort that asks them to give up what they have earned and deserve.

“Looking ahead, we will work cooperatively and constructively with anyone, but we will fight back with everything we have if A&P or its financial backers attempt to further exploit our members. For A&P to ask our members to give up their rights and benefits is simply unacceptable. Moreover, it is an insult given that it is our hard-working members who have and will make these stores a success. In fact, what will make these stores a true financial success is new and responsible management, not more sacrifices by A&P’s hard-working men and women.

“If A&P, its executive team, or its investors want to play the blame game, they should all look in the mirror.

“Now is the time for A&P to do what is right and we fully expect that they will honor their responsibilities to its employees, our members, and their families.”

UFCW Statement on A&P Bankruptcy Filing

UFCWnewsMontvale, N.J. — The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, the largest private sector union in the nation, released the following statement today regarding A&P’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

“For decades, the dedication and sacrifices of hard-working UFCW members have been instrumental in keeping A&P’s doors open. Every day, they have shown their commitment to their job, their coworkers, the community, and this union family. As difficult as this bankruptcy process is, our message to A&P is a simple one – we expect A&P to do what is right by members and their families.

“Our message to any potential buyers of A&P is that our hard-working members are not just employees, they are the heart and soul of these stores. They are committed to their success and determined to make them even stronger. We remain united and look forward to working with any company that will do what is right by our members and their families.

“With respect to the 30,000 great men and women who work at A&P and are part of our union family, we understand the uncertainty and concern that this bankruptcy announcement brings. We want our members and their families to know we are here to help in every way we can. We will commit the staff and resources necessary, and we will address every question and concern during this difficult time.

“Looking ahead, we fully expect A&P to stay in business during this bankruptcy process and honor its responsibilities to its employees, our members, and their families. The UFCW and UFCW Local Unions will work hard to ensure that the process for selling stores protects our members’ jobs, working conditions, and benefits. We will also hold A&P to its commitments to involve UFCW in the sales process, protect union contracts and these good jobs.

“For the sake of the men and women of A&P, now is the time for A&P and any potential buyer to focus on doing what is right for our hard-working members and their families.”


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How Pathmark and A&P stole Christmas

 by Kasey Schefflin-Emrich, Chronicle Contributor

The fictional character of the Grinch is appearing in the form of a real-life supermarket chain, according to New York State’s largest grocery workers union.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 is protesting the decision by A&P/Pathmark to open its stores on Christmas Day, calling the move Grinch-like.

In a letter to company executives, union leaders cited the retailer’s ongoing financial difficulties with its bankruptcy filing and urged “that as this very difficult year draws to a close, now more than ever we should respect and welcome a day off for reflection and uninterrupted time with friends and family.”

The union expressed how the company’s decision to remain open, while other supermarkets such as Stop and Shop, King Kullen, and Shop Rite have agreed to close that day, shows a lack of caring for its employees.

“Now is no time for A&P/Pathmark management to play the role of the Grinch,” said Anthony Speelman, the secretary treasurer of the Westbury-based union representing 23,000 grocery workers in Long Island, the five boroughs, Westchester, Putnam and Duchess counties. “Their employees have suffered through store closings, uncertainty and lost wages. Asking our members to work on Christmas Day shows a stunning lack of compassion and another example of this ‘War on Christmas’ we seem to read about each day.”

Speelman thinks the action is even worse than anything the protagonist in the popular Dr. Seuss children’s book would do.

“Even the Grinch would be shocked by A&P/Pathmarks’ decision and would question if they had any heart at all,” Speelman said.

Many of the customers shopping at the Pathmark on Atlantic Avenue in Ozone Park, echoed the same sentiment.

“It’s very bad especially for employees with kids who have to run to work and back home,” said Gloria Froelach, a former employee at Pathmark 13 years ago. She was surprised the store was open on Christmas, noting that when she worked there they had the day off.

Yohanny Hernandez, a frequent shopper at the store, thinks the employees should be able to spend time with their loved ones on the holiday.

“They should be allowed to enjoy time with their family,” he said. “Without a doubt it should be closed.”

A person that is no stranger to retail, Meagan Harding, expressed her disappoinment with the store remaining open.

“It’s not right,” said Harding, who has worked at Daffy’s, a designer discount store, for three years. “It’s a waste of electricity and people’s time.”

A&P/Pathmark doesn’t feel this way.

According to a company statement, it “is committed to being the store of the neighborhood and serving the needs of our diverse customer base. Therefore, we have made the decision to open some of our store locations with limited hours on Christmas Day. The company plans to staff the stores with associates who wish to earn additional income by volunteering to work on December 25th.”