Albertsons to Cut Employee Hours in Dallas/Ft. Worth Division

BOISE, Idaho - Albertsons, Inc. has informed employees in its Dallas/Ft. Worth division that thousands of full-time workers' hours will be reduced to part-time as the chain fights Wal-Mart to regain the No. 1 position in the market.

Division president Judy Spires reportedly told employees in a recent satellite broadcast that the division must have the ability to move to an organization staffed mostly by a "flexible, part-time work force" that would work four- and six-hour shifts each day rather than a standard eight hours, according to a report in the Idaho Statesman.

Specifically, she said the change in her division would put more employees in the stores during the busiest times, instead of having stores overstaffed when shoppers aren't there. In addition, she said stores could better serve customers, which would grow sales and help the company regain its leading market position.

Spires was joined in the broadcast by three Dallas-area store directors who said moving to a part-time work force had helped boost sales at their stores, according to reports.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons lost the leading market share in Dallas to Wal-Mart earlier this year. Wal-Mart has more than 40 supercenters and nearly 20 neighborhood markets operating in the Dallas/Ft. Worth market. In comparison, Albertsons has about half of its 158 Texas stores in the Dallas/Ft. Worth market.

Spires said part-time employees can still qualify for limited health benefits under the company's "Bridge Plan," which would cost a single associate as little as $14.60 a week, according to the report. The Dallas-Fort Worth-area Albertsons division does not have a labor contract with employees.
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