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UFCW President Hansen Statement on Safeway’s Announced Sale to Cerberus

UFCWnews(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following in response to Safeway’s announced sale to Cerberus Capital Management:

“Safeway announced today that it has reached an agreement to be purchased by Cerberus Capital Management which currently operates supermarkets across the country under the Albertson’s, Acme, Jewel-Osco and Shaw’s banners, among other stores.

“The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents tens of thousands of workers within these two companies.  Through ups and downs, the UFCW has maintained good relationships with both Safeway and Cerberus.”

“The UFCW will work closely with Safeway and Cerberus through the acquisition process and beyond so that these major supermarket companies can maintain strong market share and that our members can continue to serve customers and their communities.”

Giant and Safeway Workers from UFCW Locals 27 and 400 Ratify New Contract Today

Giant and Safeway grocery workers from UFCW Locals 27 and 400 voted to ratify a new contract yesterday. The new contract will cover more than 22,000 grocery workers in the Northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland area.

UFCW Local 400 Giant and Safeway grocery workers gathered at the D.C. Armory and voted to ratify a new contract.

UFCW Local 400 Giant and Safeway grocery workers gathered at the D.C. Armory and voted to ratify a new contract.

“We have showed the company we are strong and this contract reflects that,” said UFCW Local 400 Giant worker Maria Gomez.
The ratification votes follow a tentative agreement reached last week after the previous contract was extended twice.

Addressing Safeway workers at the voting, UFCW Local 400 President Mark Federici said,“Thank you to the membership for your patience in this bargaining process, especially in these complicated bargaining times. The strength and solidarity you and your brothers and sisters at Giant have shown to be powerful and instrumental in the bargaining talks.”

UFCW Local 400 Members Vote to Authorize Strike Against Giant

Fired up about management intransigence at the bargaining table, members of United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 yesterday voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against Giant.

Their current contract originally expired on October 31st. It was extended for two weeks and has since been extended through December 20th, while bargaining takes place on a new agreement. Today’s vote does not mean that a strike will occur, but it sends a strong single to Giant that members will do whatever it takes to get a fair contract.

Giant and Safeway members voted to authorize union leadership to call a strike if necessary by a standing vote. Photo by Joe Coffin/Page One.

Giant and Safeway members voted to authorize union leadership to call a strike if necessary by a standing vote. Photo by Joe Coffin/Page One.

“Today, our members put Giant on notice that it is long past time to come to the table with a proposal that provides them with the security, respect and dignity they have more than earned,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici.

“We’re the ones making all their money and it’s about time they recognize that and start respecting us,” said Tasha Schrantz, a Local 400 member serving on the Bargaining Advisory Committee who works at Giant #749. “Now more than ever, we have a stand up together because actions speak louder than words.”

“We need to keep this momentum up, we have to stand together and we as union members need to actively support our decision by participating in store actions,” said LaWanda Nedd-Kea, a Bargaining Advisory Committee member who works at Giant #140.

“It’s our members whose hard work, unmatched productivity and outstanding customer service make Giant so profitable and the dominant grocer in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area,” Federici said. “All our members ask of management is a fair deal that reflects all they contribute to the bottom line. No one wants a strike, but if that is the only way to get a contract providing living wages and health and retirement security, that is what we will do.”

 

            UFCW Local 400 represents 40,000 members working in the retail food, health care, retail department store, food processing, service and other industries in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.