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Growing List of Elected Officials Lend Support to Grocery Workers Threatened by Corporate Merger

Local elected officials show outpouring of support for hundreds of Giant Food employees in the region threatened by a corporate merger overseas

Prince George’s County Councilmember Mel Franklin sharing his support at the #SaveMyStore Town Hall in Accokeek, Maryland.

Prince George’s County Councilmember Mel Franklin sharing his support at the #SaveMyStore Town Hall in Accokeek, Maryland.

In March, employees at eight Giant Food grocery stores in the region were told their stores could be sold thanks to a corporate merger between Ahold and Delhaize, the European-based parent companies of Giant Food and Food Lion.

They weren’t told when this would happen or even what would happen to their jobs. Instead, they were told to keep it to themselves and get back to work. As one cashier recalled, “management told me, ‘don’t tell the customers, you might scare them away!’”

 But with hundreds of their jobs at stake, they weren’t going to keep this quiet. Together with their union, UFCW Local 400, the employees launched the #SaveMyStore campaign to bring together Giant employees, union members, and the communities they serve to save these stores.

From the start, the campaign drew support from elected officials and political leaders in the area, and that momentum has only continued to grow.

Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw, who recently won re-election to a second term, was among the earliest to lend her support to the Giant employees and spoke at the campaign’s kickoff event in March. She was joined by former city councilmember, Rev. Hashmel Turner.

In neighboring Stafford County, Timothy J. Baroody, Deputy County Administrator of the Stafford County Department of Economic Development, wrote an open letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging them to allow the Giant stores to remain open.

“They, and the people they employ, are great contributors to our collective quality of life in Stafford County,” Baroody explained.

Scott Surovell, who represents District 36 in the Virginia state senate, has agreed to speak in support of the campaign at the upcoming #SaveMyStore rally on May 11, while at the federal level, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia and and Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland’s 5th congressional district also expressed their support for the workers’ efforts.

Over in Maryland, state and county leaders have been equally enthusiastic in their support.

At a campaign event in Accokeek, Maryland, Prince George’s County councilmember Mel Franklin shared wisdom from his years of experience at the Federal Trade Commission, the agency which must approve the merger before it can move forward.

“We have to get organized, get to the FTC and weigh in with them so they know our concerns,” Franklin said. “At the end of the day, we need to win.”

Delegate Edith Patterson from Maryland’s 28th district was similarly supportive. “You are more than workers, you are family,” she told attendees at a town hall in La Plata, Maryland, while holding up her Giant bonus card.

“I will be with you,” Patterson added when asked if she would attend the rally on May 11. Maryland SenatorAnthony Muse from district 26 has also pledged to attend, while Delegate Kris Valderrama also expressed support for the campaign.

Campaign representatives have also met with Governor Terry McAuliffe’s staff in Virginia, as well as the state’s attorney general, Mark Herring, in an effort to influence the outcome of the FTC process.

But with the company refusing to provide additional details on the store sales as the FTC process continues, union leaders and Giant employees will continue to reach out to every elected official in the region to gather support.

On May 11, the campaign plans to deliver thousands of signatures on a petition to the company directly to Giant Food headquarters in Landover, Maryland.

 

Four Facts You Should Know About the Potential Ahold/Delhaize Merger

Delhaize-Ahold

There has been a lot of confusion and misinformation about the potential sale of eight Giant Food stores as a result of the potential merger of Ahold and Delhaize, the parent companies of Giant Food and Food Lion. While the company has been less than clear about the future of these stores, we would like to get the facts straight.

  1. The merger of Ahold and Delhaize is not complete. It has been approved by shareholders of both companies, but in order for the merger to go forward, it must first be approved by federal regulators, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC has not approved the merger yet.
  2. The stores being marketed for sale were chosen by Ahold/Delhaize – the Federal Trade Commission did not order the company to sell any of these particular stores. While reviewing a potential merger, the Federal Trade Commission does not issue public statements until the process is complete. The FTC did not tell Ahold, Giant, or Delhaize which stores should be sold.
  3. Giant Food has not met with UFCW Local 400 to share details about the merger. Union staff received notice regarding which stores could potentially be sold on the same day employees at all eight stores were informed. Since then, there has been some back and forth with Giant, including a request for additional information, but they have not shared further details, a list of potential buyers, the reasons for choosing to sell these stores, or even a timeline.
  4. Your collective bargaining agreement protects you in the event your store is sold. As your union, it is our position that the seniority rights guaranteed in your contract will be in effect in the event your store is sold. See Article 5 and the addendum “Seniority Rules of the Fredericksburg addendum.”

Questions?

If you have questions about your job and work at one of the eight Giant Food stores slated for sale in Maryland and Virginia, contact us! Your union is here to help.

Contact UFCW Local 400

By phone: 1-800-638-0800
Monday-Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm

By email: ufcwlocal400@local400.org

Or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter.

Sign Up For Mobile Alerts

Text SAVEMYSTORE to 698329 to sign up for mobile alerts (message & data rates may apply).

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Four Facts Every Employee Should Know

Giant Employees Announce Series of “Save My Store” Town Halls in Response to Possible Sale of Stores

MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

CONTACT
Jonathan Williams, UFCW Local 400, jwilliams@local400.org

The first in a series of town halls tonight at 6pm in Fredericksburg aims to preserve good jobs and quality shopping threatened by a corporate merger

WHAT:

On March 15, following the shareholders’ approval of a merger between Ahold and Delhaize, the parent companies of local grocery chains Giant Food, Food Lion, and Martin’s, employees at eight area stores were informed that their stores may be sold as a result of the merger.

With the future of so many jobs at stake, Giant Food employees launched the “Save My Store” campaign the following week with a press conference and a petition to Ahold/Delhaize which is steadily gaining thousands of signatures from employees and customers.

Now, the campaign is hosting a series of four town halls in the communities surrounding the threatened stores to bring together employees, customers, elected officials and other leaders to do whatever it takes to keep quality jobs and shopping options intact.

Representatives of Ahold and Giant Food were also invited to attend, but the company has refused to respond.

FIRST TOWN HALL TONIGHT:

Fredericksburg #SaveMyStore Town Hall
6:00pm, Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Hyatt Place, 1241 Jefferson Davis Highway, Fredericksburg, VA  22401

UPCOMING TOWN HALLS:

Accokeek #SaveMyStore Town Hall
Wednesday, April 13 at 6 pm
Hilton Garden Inn Waldorf
10385 O’Donnell Place, Waldorf, MD 20603

La Plata #SaveMyStore Town Hall
Tuesday, April 19 at 6 pm
Holiday Inn Express La Plata
6860 Crain Highway, La Plata, MD 20646

Stafford #SaveMyStore Town Hall
Wednesday, April 20 at 6 pm
Hampton Inn
2915 Jefferson Davis Highway, Stafford, VA  22554

WHO:

Giant Food employees

Grocery store customers

Local elected officials and community leaders

Mark Federici, President, UFCW Local 400

and others

EIGHT GIANT FOOD GROCERY STORES SLATED FOR SALE:

Giant #338, Accokeek, MD
Giant #339, La Plata, MD
Giant #234, Stafford, VA
Giant #235, Fredericksburg, VA
Giant #243, Stafford, VA
Giant #256, Spotsylvania, VA
Giant #770, Fredericksburg, VA
Giant #789, Falmouth, VA

LEARN MORE:

Visit SaveMyStore.org to learn more, including previous press coverage, a map of stores threatened by the merger.

###

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 represents 35,000 members working in the retail food, health care, retail department store, food processing, service and other industries in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

#SaveMyStore Rally Draws Crowd, Media Attention In Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg Giant Food employees joined by local elected officials and community leaders to launch #SaveMyStore campaign

20160323-Fredericksburg Giant Press Conference (Canon) - 113

Yesterday, nearly 100 Giant Food employees were joined by local elected officials and community leaders to launch a campaign to save six stores in the region Fredericksburg region (and two others in southern Maryland) from potential sale.

Last week, following shareholder approval of the merger of Ahold and Delhaize, the parent companies of local grocery chains Giant Food, Food Lion, and Martin’s, employees at several area stores were informed that their stores may be sold as a result of the merger.

With the future of so many jobs at stake, workers at Giant Food stores in Fredericksburg held a press conference to tell Ahold/Delhaize and any potential buyers that they will do whatever it takes to preserve their collective bargaining agreement – regardless of who owns the stores or what brand they are operated under.

Robyn Wheeler, who works at the store where the press conference was held, has 36 years with the company. Her father worked for Giant for nearly 38 years and her daughter and son-in-law also work there. “Together, we have 95 years of experience with this company. We just want to keep our jobs and our customers,” she said.

Because the merger has yet to be approved by federal regulators, there is very little definitive information at this point, but attendees were undaunted.

“I’ve got no more information about this situation than you do right now,” said Mark Federici, President of UFCW Local 400. “And that’s the hardest thing, is this whole circumstance is as clear as mud,” he said. “You’re looking for answers. You’re looking at things as to which way it’s going to go. What choices you’re going to have to make. Right now nobody can answer any of those questions.”

The workers were joined by several community leaders, including Mary Katherine Greenlaw, Mayor of the City of Fredericksburg; Vernon Green Jr., Vice President of the Stafford Branch of the NAACP; Rev. Hashmel Turner, a former city councilman; and Luis Aguilar, Advocacy and Elections Specialist for CASA.

Sign Up For Text Alerts

To stay in the loop as this campaign develops, sign up for our mobile text alerts:

Text SAVEMYSTORE to 698329 (message and data rates may apply).

Press Coverage

‘Save my store,’ Giant/Martin’s workers rally to keep jobs amid sale
by Alix Bryan & Shelby Brown
CBS 6 / WTVR-TV

Pending merger causing anxiety for local grocery store workers
by Jonathan Costen
ABC 8 News / WRIC-TV

Fredericksburg area Giant workers hope to keep jobs
by Cathy Jett
The Free Lance-Star

Local Giant Workers Rally for Their Jobs
by Susan Larson
Fredericksburg Today

Ahold USA Does Not Expect to Close Any Giant Food Stores After Merger
By Susan Larson
Fredericksburg Today

Fredericksburg area Giant workers hope to keep jobs
by Cathy Jett
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Giant workers in Fredericksburg area to speak out about possible sale
by Cathy Jett
The Free Lance-Star

Giant Rally-Fredericksburg
by Ted Schubel
WBQB/WFVA-Fredericksburg

Photos from the Rally

Giant Employees Announce Press Conference in Response to Potential Sale of Fredericksburg Stores

MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

CONTACT
Jonathan Williams, UFCW Local 400 – jwilliams@local400.org

Union of grocery employees to be joined by elected officials and local leaders to call on company to preserve good jobs and quality shopping

WHAT:

Last week, following shareholder approval of the merger of Ahold and Delhaize, the parent companies of local grocery chains Giant Food, Food Lion, and Martin’s, employees at several area stores were informed that their stores may be sold as a result of the merger.

With the future of so many jobs at stake, workers at Giant Food stores in Fredericksburg are hosting a press conference to tell Ahold/Delhaize and any potential buyers that they will do whatever it takes to preserve their collective bargaining agreement – regardless of who owns the stores or what brand they are operated under.

WHEN:

1:00pm, Wednesday, March 23, 2016

WHERE:

Giant, 1245 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Fredericksburg, VA 22401

WHO:

Giant Food employees

Grocery store customers

Local elected officials, including Mary Katherine Greenlaw, Mayor, City of Fredericksburg

Community leaders, including Vernon Green Jr., VP of the Stafford Branch of the NAACP

Mark Federici, President, UFCW Local 400

and others

###