• Microphone on stage

    Press Releases.

    For media inquiries, please contact Jessica Levin at press@ufcw.org, jlevin@ufcw.org or 202-721-8143.

November 1, 2017

UFCW Statement on Senate Democrats’ Better Deal Proposal on Collective Bargaining

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, made the following statement regarding Senate Democrats’ Better Deal Proposal on Collective Bargaining.

“We must build an economy that works for all – not just those at the top. By strengthening the collective voice and negotiating rights of workers, the better deal proposal on collective bargaining begins to do just that.

“Our hope is that every member of Congress will support these more modern workplace policies because this is about more than unions, this is about helping their constituents and all hard-working men and women who have earned the right to a better life.”

The Better Deal Proposal on Collective Bargaining seeks to:

  • Create a mandatory mediation and arbitration process to ensure corporations and newly formed unions reach a first contract.
  • Strengthen penalties on predatory corporations that violate workers’ rights, and combat misclassification of workers as supervisors and independent contractors.
  • Strengthen workers’ right to strike for basic workplace improvements, including higher wages and better working conditions.
  • Ban state laws that undermine worker freedoms to join together and negotiate.
  • Provide millions of public employees with the freedom to join a union and collectively bargain with their employers.
  • Streamline the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) procedures to secure worker freedoms and effectively prevent violations.
  • Protect the integrity of union elections against coercive captive audience meetings.
  • Use federal purchasing power and policy to help expand opportunities to negotiate.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

October 26, 2017

UFCW Statement on the Agricultural Guestworker Act

Bill would cut food processing wages by 50 percent and put the safety of our food at risk 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, released the following statement regarding the Agricultural Guestworker Act (H.R. 4092), which passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 17-16 on October 25.

“The Agricultural Guestworker Act is a direct threat to American jobs, wages, and food safety. 

“It will flood the meat processing sector with hundreds of thousands of untrained visa holders, effectively destroying middle class jobs that are currently held by hard-working American families who play a critical role in the safety of our food. 

“This bill will also make it easier for guestworkers to be exploited and encourages them to take on work that is demonstrably unsafe without years of training. 

“Any member of the House who cares about protecting good American jobs and wages will do the right thing and oppose the Agricultural Guestworker Act.”

Background:

  • The Agricultural Guestworker Act (H.R. 4092) will bring 450,000 visa holders to work in agriculture and meat processing jobs that are currently held by hard-working American families.
  • The bill had bipartisan opposition when it passed out of the House Judiciary Committee, with Republicans Steve King (IA-4) and Louie Gohmert (TX-1) joining Democrats to vote no. Five other Republicans refrained from voting.
  • The impacts of this bill on the meat and poultry industry, and the U.S. workers employed within them, would be devastating. Food processing workers are highly trained professionals who not only perform a very difficult and highly skilled job, but also serve as a much-needed layer of protection for consumers when it comes to food safety.
  • Rather than require that new H-2C workers be paid at similar rates so that they cannot be used to displace workers and drive down wages, the bill simply requires that employers attempt to recruit workers at $10.88 per hour. If U.S. workers don’t apply at that wage rate, the employer would be authorized to bring in hundreds, or even thousands, of guestworkers at the $10.88 figure—a fraction of what meat and poultry workers in America currently earn.
  • This bill encourages irresponsible employers to displace American workers by bringing in hundreds of thousands of guestworkers across multiple sectors of our economy – effectively forcing U.S. workers out of currently good-paying jobs.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

 

October 23, 2017

UFCW Joins with NAACP and AFT in Defense of DACA 

Joint Legal Action Cites Trump Administration’s Disregard of Due Process for DACA Recipients 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Citing a disregard for the due process rights of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union announced that it has joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in a lawsuit against President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security for the Trump administration’s termination of DACA.

The joint legal action makes clear that the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA disregarded the due process rights of the DACA registrants, and failed to engage in the required analysis or rulemaking procedures required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, both of which are laws put into place to safeguard the public against this very type of impulsiveness by leaders in powerful positions.

Marc Perrone, president of the UFCW International Union, issued the following statement about joining the lawsuit: 

“While we support the effort to find a bipartisan solution to protect the rights of DACA recipients, ending DACA without regard to due process or proper rulemaking is not only a betrayal of the 800,000 individuals who have always and only called the United States their home, it needlessly jeopardizes the rights and procedures that protect every American citizen.  

 “No matter one’s politics or the administration, every person in this country deserves due process. Moreover, our government can’t function without adhering to certain rules and procedures. Ignoring them jeopardizes the rights and freedoms of us all.  

“With respect to DACA recipients, these young men and women love this country, and it is their home. They work side by side with us, live in our communities, and are dedicated members of our union family and countless others. They, like all of us, want nothing more than to build a better life for themselves and their families.

 “The legal action we have taken with the NAACP and AFT is critical to protecting and ensuring the rights and freedoms of DACA recipients, and every person who calls this nation their home.”

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

October 11, 2017

UFCW to USDA: Keep Line Speed Limits at Poultry Plants

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, sent a letter to the Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Carmen Rottenberg, explaining why a recent petition by the National Chicken Council to eliminate line speeds at poultry plants poses a dangerous risk to American families. 

President Perrone’s letter can be read below.

Dear Madam Acting Deputy Undersecretary Rottenberg:

With the health and safety of over 250,000 thousand hard-working poultry workers in mind, 70,000 of whom are members of our union family, we write to urge you to reject a petition submitted by the National Chicken Council (NCC) to run food processing lines with no speed limits.

This petition, submitted to you in early September, would allow select poultry plants to run their lines with no speed limits, endangering both workers and consumers. Even more troubling is that this petition essentially requests that USDA create this new “no speed limit” rule behind closed doors with no opportunity for notice and comment by the public as the regulatory process requires.

As you must know, poultry workers hold some of the most dangerous and difficult jobs in America. The implications of this rule change are striking, for example:

  • Industry statistics show poultry workers are at twice the risk of being injured on the job compared to other workers and suffer illnesses at a rate that is seven times as high.
  • A 2016 report from the Government Accountability Office showed that forcing lines to move faster will expose poultry workers to higher rates of injuries and illnesses.
  • Increased line speeds will also make it harder for both federal inspectors and quality control workers to properly check birds for contamination that could make consumers sick.

Given the facts noted above, the petition from the NCC clearly poses a dangerous risk to American families.

When the USDA chose not to raise line speed limits for poultry plants in 2014, there was large public interest in the open and transparent process (which we participated in) that ensured all perspectives on this proposed modification were heard – including those of the NCC. A wide array of people and interests, from workers on poultry lines to experts across the country, agreed then as they do now that faster line speeds will make this industry dramatically less safe, both for workers and consumers.

For the sake of keeping hard-working families safe – whether they’re preparing, buying, or eating chicken – the USDA must reject this petition.

Sincerely,

Anthony “Marc” Perrone

International President

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.  

Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

 

September 5, 2017

UFCW Condemns White House Decision to End DACA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, issued the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):

“President Trump’s decision to end DACA is cold-hearted, cruel, and a betrayal of what America stands for. 

“Hundreds of thousands of young, hard-working men and women who love America will now be needlessly punished for childhood circumstances. These young people have grown up in this country, passed background checks, pay taxes, go to school, and have worked hard to build a better America. They have earned and deserve fair treatment, but instead their lives are being thrown into chaos with this announcement. 

“President Trump’s decision will not make America great again; rather, it will tear families apart, damage communities, and further fuel a terrible divide that is already hurting the nation we all love. 

“On behalf of the 1.3 million members of our union family, we urge all Members of Congress to immediately do what is right and protect these Dreamers.” 

Background:
  • Terminating DACA needlessly removes 800,000 hard-working men and women from our workforce.
  • It will cost $433.4 billion in GDP loss over a decade.
  • It will cost employers $3.4 billion in unnecessary turnover costs.
  • Contributions to Medicare and Social Security will be cut by $24.6 billion over a decade.
  • Some 6% of DACA recipients have launched businesses that employ American citizens.
  • Almost 55% of DACA recipients have purchased a vehicle, and more than one in ten have purchased their first home.
  • Source: ILRC, The Economic Cost of Ending DACA

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.  

Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

 

August 23, 2017

Letter to Whole Foods Board of Directors: Amazon’s Acquisition Must Protect Hard-Working Employees

UFCW International President Marc Perrone releases letter calling on Whole Foods Board of Directors to protect Whole Foods Workers from Threat of Amazon. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, sent a letter to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, and the entire Whole Foods Board of Directors, calling on them to take specific steps to protect the jobs, wages, and benefits of employees who may be negatively impacted by Amazon acquiring their company.

“Amazon’s acquisition is a threat to Whole Foods workers and their families,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “They deserve a clear commitment from the entire board that their jobs, wages, and benefits will be protected from Amazon’s automated business model. Whole Foods Board of Directors has a responsibility not only to shareholders or to Amazon, but to the hard-working Whole Foods employees who made this company a success.”

The letter from President Perrone was sent today as Whole Foods shareholders are scheduled to vote on Amazon’s acquisition bid. It calls on the company to make clear, publicly, the actions it will take to protect its employees, and their wages and benefits, from Amazon’s business model – which eliminates jobs through automation.

The letter states:

“Realistically, we expect shareholders to approve of your company’s merger with Amazon. Our union family’s only hope is that you will consider the well-being of every employee who works inside your stores. These hard-working men and women are not numbers on a balance sheet; rather, they have families to support and lives to build. They may not matter much to you or Amazon, but they matter to us.”

President Perrone also makes clear the risks for Whole Foods if they fail to do what is right:

“The question now is whether shareholders and the Board of Whole Foods will consider the loss of Whole Foods jobs and the brand impact once customers realize Amazon has sacrificed these workers – the very people who made Whole Foods stores so successful.”

The entire letter is attached below:

Dear Whole Foods Board of Directors,

Today we write to express our concerns about Amazon acquiring Whole Foods on behalf of our union family, which represents more than one million retail workers and their families – most of whom work inside grocery stores.

Amazon is well known for disrupting industries, but they are equally known for their preference of putting automation over real people. From piloting a store with zero cashiers to expanding its army of warehouse robots to testing drone delivery, Amazon is clearly determined to profit by creating a future where automation replaces good jobs – and many of the people who work at Whole Foods will be the latest to pay this steep price.

The question now is whether shareholders and the Board of Whole Foods will consider the loss of Whole Foods jobs and the brand impact once customers realize Amazon has sacrificed these workers – the very people who made Whole Foods stores so successful.

Realistically, we expect shareholders to approve of your company’s merger with Amazon. Our union family’s only hope is that you will consider the well-being of every employee who works inside your stores. These hard-working men and women are not numbers on a balance sheet; rather, they have families to support and lives to build. They may not matter much to you or Amazon, but they matter to us.

Given President Trump’s recent criticism about Amazon’s business practices, the regulatory approval process seems likely to raise several troubling questions. With that in mind, we ask you to take the following steps to better protect Whole Foods employees if this merger receives regulatory approval.

The steps we believe Whole Foods should take include:

Protect Whole Foods Employees. Public reports have referenced eliminating Whole Foods cashiers and other positions, and embracing automation to do an increasing number of tasks within stores and warehouses. If these reports are wrong, and these jobs are safe, Whole Foods should publicly commit to protecting them from Amazon automation.

Protect Wages and Benefits. Will Whole Foods employees be asked to take pay cuts or lose hours or benefits? In the past, Whole Foods has talked about its good wages and benefits, but in more recent comments, CEO John Mackey has seemingly blamed employees for the company’s loss of customers. Your employees deserve to know whether they will pay the ultimate price with lower wages, worse benefits, and lost hours.

In the coming weeks and months, Whole Foods employees will anxiously await to hear how this merger will benefit them. They deserve to hear more than platitudes. They deserve specifics about how Amazon’s actions will impact them. Moreover, loyal customers who regularly shop at Whole Foods deserve to know the truth about how their neighbors and friends who work at Whole Foods stores will be impacted.

Again, we urge you, as members of the board and shareholders, to take the right steps to protect the jobs of hard-working Whole Foods employees.

We hope you will take these concerns seriously, and that you realize hard-working Americans are watching closely to see whether Whole Foods and Amazon do the right thing.

Sincerely,

Marc Perrone

President, United Food & Commercial Workers International Union

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

August 22, 2017

Perrone Makes Case for Amazon’s Growth to Face More Scrutiny

UFCW President calls on federal agencies and elected officials to stand up to Amazon in The Hill op-ed

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, wrote an op-ed for The Hill that details how Amazon’s growing monopoly over the retail sector has negative impacts for American workers.

EXCERPTS FROM THE OP-ED:

All of us, no matter what political leanings we have, will be impacted by Amazon’s monopolistic desire to control the retail market and replace good jobs with automation. This isn’t hyperbole.

In 2016, 43 percent of all online sales went through Amazon; the online retailer also accounted for more than half of all online sales growth last year.

Amazon controls a huge swath of the steadily growing online marketplace and it gives them a distinct advantage over regional and national competitors – which results in job cuts. Public filings show that Amazon played a large role in eliminating more than 50,000 jobs from Staples, Office Depot, and Best Buy. And in March, MarketWatch estimated that Amazon’s dominant growth could remove as many as 1.5 million retail jobs within five years.

All of this begs the question, if Amazon forces millions of service and retail sector jobs to be lost, if they squeeze suppliers to the bone, if they devastate commercial construction because much fewer retail spaces are built, and if they make it impossible for grocery or retail workers to earn a better life because they can no longer find work, where do elected leaders think “good American jobs” are going to come from?

Click here to read the full op-ed.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

July 27, 2017

Amazon Will Destroy More Jobs Than It Could Ever Create

As Jeff Bezos becomes the richest person in the world, it’s clear Amazon’s retail monopoly benefits him above all others.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents over one million retail workers, released the following statement in response to Amazon’s claims of hiring 50,000 new warehouse workers:

“While Amazon claims they’re creating 50,000 new jobs, they conveniently ignore how their business model, in addition to offering brutal working conditions inside their warehouses, will destroy tens of thousands – if not millions – of retail jobs through automation. 

“Amazon is a retail monopoly that threatens every corner of our nation’s economy. Left unchecked, it will eradicate jobs, small businesses, and countless American retailers across the nation. 

“Sadly, while Jeff Bezos may revel in becoming the richest person in the world, his business and company will be responsible for pushing countless people into poverty. The question now is this: Will America’s leaders have the courage to speak out against the Amazon monopoly, or will they remain silent?” 

BACKGROUND

  • Public filings show that Amazon played a large role in eliminating more than 50,000 jobs in recent years from Staples, Office Depot, and Best Buy.
  • MarketWatch estimated that Amazon’s dominant growth could cause as many as 1.5 million retail jobs to be lost within five years.
  • An investigation from ProPublica showed that Amazon routinely favored their own, more expensive listings, or Amazon-made products, over those from smaller sellers.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.  Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

 

July 21, 2017

Concern About Amazon Acquiring Whole Foods Grows

12 members of Congress call on DOJ and FTC to review Amazon deal, citing concern for low-income communities and food deserts 

Click here to view the PDF and text of the letter signed by 12 members of Congress asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to review Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods.

Click here to view the PDF and text of the letter signed by 12 members of Congress asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to review Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents over one million retail workers, released the following statement in response to a letter signed by 12 members of Congress asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to review Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods.

“Political concerns about Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods are growing for good reason,” said Marc Perrone, president of the UFCW. “Amazon’s monopolistic desire to control the retail market and replace good jobs with automation is not only a direct threat to the hard-working men and women at Whole Foods, it’s also a direct threat to our economy and consumers. Every member of Congress, regardless of party, must now decide whether they stand for an America with jobs, or Amazon’s America where millions struggle to find meaningful work.”

Earlier this week, on July 17, Perrone sent a letter to the FTC that explained why this acquisition is a threat to workers and should be reviewed.

In their letter to the FTC and DOJ, the 12 members of Congress called for Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods to be reviewed, saying: “This merger should be scrutinized beyond the normal antitrust review process that only examines the competitive impact. It should also include a careful review of the impact further consolidation will have on the communities representing many of the ‘food deserts’ across the nation.” The letter also cites, among other concerns, “the declining presence of retail stores due to Amazon’s growth.”

In recent weeks, several other policymakers and advocacy groups have voiced concerns about the acquisition, including:

  • Ranking member of the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee David Cicilline (D-RI) called for a hearing on the proposed merger on July 13, saying It is essential that Americans have a meaningful choice about the products we buy, the businesses we support, and where and how we work.”
  • Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA), who represents part of the Silicon Valley area, called for the FTC and DOJ to review Amazon’s plan on June 16, saying “I am concerned about what this deal means for suppliers and neighborhood grocery stores. We need to reorient antitrust policy to factor in the harm that economic concentration causes for American workers.”
  • Consumer Watchdog called on the FTC to block the Amazon deal in a July 6 letter, detailing numerous instances where Amazon “persistently engaged in unfair and deceptive practices” that misled customers into thinking they were getting a steep discount.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

July 17, 2017

UFCW Calls On FTC To Review Amazon Whole Foods Merger

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), a union representing over one million retail workers, sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) calling for a thorough investigation of Amazon’s proposed acquisition of Whole Foods.

Following Amazon’s announcement, UFCW International President Marc Perrone wrote in a CNN op-ed that “the hard-working men and women who work at Whole Foods now face an uncertain future” due to the Amazon model for grocery stores. His letter to the FTC expands on that theme, saying, in part:

“Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is not about improving customer service, products or choice. It is about destroying Whole Foods jobs through Amazon-style automation. We strongly urge the FTC to carefully review this merger. We believe a fair and impartial analysis will prove that Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is a competitive threat to our economy that will hurt workers and communities.”

UFCW is not the only one with concerns about the merger.

  • Rep. David Cicilline, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee called for a hearing on the proposed merger, saying: “I respectfully urge that the Subcommittee hold a hearing on this proposed acquisition to carefully consider whether it will harm consumers, workers, and small businesses in our communities. It is essential that Americans have meaningful choice about the products we buy, the businesses we support, and where and how we work.”
  • Rep. Ro Khanna ,who represents part of the Silicon Valley area, has said he is “deeply worried” about the Amazon-Whole Foods deal and has called for a “reorientation” of antitrust decision making to include concerns like how a merger will effect jobs, wages, innovation, and small businesses.
  • Consumer Watchdog sent a letter calling on the FTC to block the merger and detailing the numerous instances where Amazon “persistently engaged in unfair and deceptive practices” that misled customers into thinking they were getting a steep discount.

The full text of Perrone’s letter reads:

Dear Commissioners:

Because of the impact of online shopping, technology, and automation, our economy and the retail grocery landscape is changing dramatically. As such, the very definition of how mergers, such as the proposed Amazon and Whole Foods merger, would impact grocery competition, customer choice, the price of goods, and, especially hard-working retail workers must be rethought. While traditional analysis may discount the threats that would arise from Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon is not a traditional retailer or grocer.

By any and every reasonable measure, Amazon is an online retail monopoly. The scope and weight of Amazon’s digital reach poses a severe and constant economic threat to consumers, retailers, and especially grocers, irrespective of whether they’re located online or are traditional brick-and-mortar stores. More significantly, the scope of Amazon’s reach and the very nature of our economy today, does not limit their impact to the digital retail landscape. The fact is that Amazon is more than a digital retail monopoly; rather, it is a retail monopoly that threatens every corner of our nation’s economy.

We urge you to consider, for example, the facts of Amazon’s growing unfair scope and reach:

  • According to a 2016 report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, half of all online shopping searches start directly on Amazon.
  • That same report states that within five years, 20 percent of the U.S.’s $3.6 trillion retail market will have shifted online, and Amazon is on track to capture two-thirds of that share.
  • Additionally, a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners last week estimated total U.S. Prime membership at 85 million, which is up 35 percent from the year-ago quarter and double from two years ago. CIRP also noted that 63 percent of U.S.-based Amazon customers are Prime members.

In terms of impact, Amazon arguably poses a greater threat to our retail economy than any other online or traditional brick and mortar grocer. Again, we urge each commissioner to consider the following impacts:

  • Hurts Consumers: Amazon’s proposed merger of Whole Foods will hurt consumers by allowing their national economic power to gain unfair advantage with suppliers. As a result, not only may consumer prices increase, the quality and scope of products may be impacted. While Whole Foods may have 460 stores worldwide, the reality is that the very nature of Amazon’s size allows them to unfairly compete against small and medium-sized grocers when it comes to the purchase of goods.
  • Hurts Choice: Amazon’s reach will ultimately reduce the number of grocery competitors that consumers can choose from. Regardless of whether Amazon has an actual Whole Foods grocery store near a competitor, their online model and size allows them to unfairly compete with every single grocery store in the nation.
  • Hurts Hard-Working Men and Women: The FTC is a public agency, and it must consider the impact that any merger will have on consumers and workers. Amazon’s online business model is built on a brutal foundation of automation to cut costs. If this merger proceeds, it could impact thousands of Whole Foods workers’ jobs simply for the sake of enriching one of the nation’s wealthiest individuals – Jeff Bezos.
  • Job Destroying Automation: Amazon has made its competitive vision clear with the introduction of its Amazon Go format, which eliminates nearly every grocery worker in its stores, and replaces them with automation and automated check stands.  Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is not about improving customer service, products or choice. It is about destroying Whole Foods jobs through Amazon-style automation. 

We strongly urge the FTC to carefully review this merger. We believe a fair and impartial analysis will prove that Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is a competitive threat to our economy that will hurt workers and communities.

Sincerely,

Marc Perrone


Download the letter to Commissioner McSweeny

Download the letter to Acting Chairman Ohlhausen

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.