Central Grocers, Teamsters Reach Pact for Potential Sale

Central Grocers and Teamsters Local 703 reached an agreement to resolve the union’s action for a temporary restraining order, which had been filed on April 18 based on information that the wholesaler was going to sell its facility in Joliet, Ill.

Central Grocers supplies retail groceries in Illinois and is the majority owner of Strack & Van Til and Ultra stores. The nine Ultra stores will close and the 22 Strack & Van Til stores have been put up for sale.

Teamsters Local 703 represent about 300 members at Central Grocers. The union had sought an injunction of any sale, including a temporary restraining order, pending arbitration of the union’s claim that the sale would violate its labor contracts. Local 703 agreed to withdraw the action, without prejudice to re-filing, in exchange for assurances from Central Grocers regarding a potential transaction and receipt of certain confidential information that will allow the Teamster to better assess the transaction.

The arrangement will allow Central Grocers and the buyer to proceed with exploration of the potential transaction without the disruption of litigation, while giving Local 703 new and concrete information necessary to better protect its interests and the interests of its members.

"Withdrawing our original action at this time is in the best interest of the union and our membership," said Thomas W. Stiede, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 703. "Preserving our strong labor agreements in the grocery industry is paramount. The Teamsters will continue to work to gather information in the effort to protect members and prepare for what the future may hold," the labor leader added.

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