Labor Leaders React to Safeway/Albertsons Deal
In response to Safeway’s announced sale to Cerberus Capital Management, which currently operates supermarkets across the country under the Albertson’s, Acme, Jewel-Osco and Shaw's banners, among others, Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International said:
“The UFCW represents tens of thousands of workers within these two companies. Through ups and downs, the UFCW” – which represents more than 1.3 million workers primarily in the retail, meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries – “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,” Hansen concluded.
Meanwhile, a letter sent to members of the Roseville, Calif.-based UFCW 8-Golden State – which represents 45,000 active and retired supermarket workers – by Jacques Loveall, president, said: “Safeway’s…sale to Cerberus/Albertsons was an expected development, but it’s not the end of the story.
“Over the next several months, government regulators will examine the purchase and decide whether to approve it.
“We have already communicated with John Snow, the chairman of Cerberus, to begin discussions regarding the details and ramifications of the sale,” Loveall added, noting the ongoing security of retiree pensions was among his highest concerns.
“Fortunately, all Albertsons stores in California are union and our union has had a relationship with Albertsons and Cerberus for many years.”
“We will use this relationship to ensure our members’ contract and rights are protected through this merger and beyond. This is our highest priority.”
Loveall said UFCW Local 8 “will be watching the progress of this proposed merger and will keep our members informed of developments as they happen.”
UFCW 8-Golden State represents some 35,000 members who work in grocery and drug stores, food-processing plants and offices from the Oregon border in the north to Kern County in the south.