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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).

Print This Fact Sheet (PDF)

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.

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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.

SAVE THE DATE: #SaveMyStore Campaign Announces Series of Town Hall Meetings

SaveMyStore.org-FB-Thumbnail

On Tuesday, March 15, employees at eight area Giant Food stores were informed that their stores may be sold due to a corporate merger. Less than a week after hearing the news, we launched the #SaveMyStore campaign to bring together Giant employees, union members, and the communities we serve to save these stores. We can’t let a corporate merger in Europe take away good jobs and quality shopping options here at home.

In a matter of days, we have already collected more than 1,200 signatures on a petition to preserve the quality shopping, good jobs, and excellent customer service that we have come to expect from our local Giant grocery stores.

Today, we’re announcing a series of town hall meetings to discuss next steps. Giant Food employees, union members, customers, friends and neighbors are all invited to join us. With so many jobs at stake, together we will do whatever it takes to keep our communities intact.

RSVP for the Town Hall nearest you on Facebook. In the coming days, we’ll share more details about each town hall.

Save the Date: #SaveMyStore Town Halls

Fredericksburg #SaveMyStore Town Hall
Tuesday, April 12 at 6 pm
Hyatt Place Fredericksburg at Mary Washington, 1241 Jefferson Davis Highway, Fredericksburg, VA  22401
RSVP on Facebook

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

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

Stafford #SaveMyStore Town Hall
Wednesday, April 20 at 6 pm
Hampton Inn – Stafford, 2925 Jefferson Davis Highway, Stafford, VA  22554
RSVP on Facebook

Can’t make it to a town hall?

Sign up for text alerts!

This situation is developing quickly. We’re committed to keeping you informed every step of the way. Sign up for text alerts to stay in the loop (message & data rates may apply).

Text SAVEMYSTORE to 698329

Learn more at SaveMyStore.org

Earned Sick Days Passes Maryland House of Delegates

The galleries were full of earned sick days supporters as the  House of Delegates debated the Healthy Working Families Act last week. Photo via Working Matters.

The galleries were full of earned sick days supporters as the
House of Delegates debated the Healthy Working Families Act last week. Photo via Working Matters.

Legislation Passes 84-54 With One Week Remaining in Session

Reposted from our friends at Working Matters, a coalition of more than 150 organizations committed to advancing the Maryland Campaign for Paid Sick Days.

The Maryland House of Delegates voted 84-54 today to approve legislation that would allow Maryland workers to earn up to seven paid sick days per year.

The successful House vote marks the furthest the bill has ever advanced within the Maryland General Assembly. The Healthy Working Families Act (HB 580/SB472) now awaits action in the Senate, where it currently remains in the Senate Finance Committee.

“Today, the House of Delegates underscored that Maryland families can’t wait any longer for earned sick leave,” said lead House sponsor Delegate Luke Clippinger. “With this vote, we are one giant step closer to ensuring that hundreds of thousands of working Marylanders no longer have to make the impossible choice between their health and their job, between the well-being of their families and their economic security.”

Also today, in a letter delivered to Senate President Miller and every member of the Senate, nearly 100 religious leaders from denominations and congregations across the State called upon the Maryland State Senate to act swiftly in passing a strong earned sick days bill. “When the health of workers is compromised by illness, they need time away from work to heal without fear of losing their jobs,” the faith leaders wrote. “People should not need to choose between earning an income to support themselves and their families or taking the time to restore their health or that of their family members.”

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates that more than 700,000 Marylanders — nearly 40 percent of the state’s workforce — are unable to earn paid sick days to use when they or a family member are ill.

An October 2015 poll conducted by the University of Maryland/Washington Post found that 83 percent of voters support allowing workers to earn a limited number of annual paid sick days. This support was broad across key voting blocs, including 91 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans.

Specifically, the Healthy Working Families Act will:

  • Allow Maryland workers to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to seven full days (56 hours) of paid sick days per year.
  • Allow part-time workers to accrue fewer days per year, depending on the number of hours worked.
  • Permit employers with existing paid leave standards to maintain those policies as long as they comply with the minimum requirements of the Act.

With just over a week remaining in this year’s state legislative session, supporters of earned sick days – including faith leaders, community advocates, public health officials, nonprofit executives, parents with their children, and Maryland workers unable to earn paid sick days – will continue to rally in front of the State House each morning to greet senators as they head into floor sessions, and to urge passage of the Healthy Working Families Act.

To date, five states and 24 cities or counties – including Montgomery County, MD – have enacted earned sick days measures, either through legislation or voter-driven ballot initiatives, and more wins are on the horizon.

Take Action to Ensure Swift Passage in Senate

With only one week remaining in Maryland’s legislative session, your Senator needs to hear why there’s no reason to wait until 2017 to pass the Healthy Working Families Act.  The bill has been vetted for four years and is ready to go, as is evidenced by action taken in the House. Please click here to ask for your Senator’s help in bringing the bill to a vote.

BREAKING NEWS: Earned Sick Days Headed to Maryland House Floor

Reposted from our friends at Working Matters, a coalition of more than 150 organizations committed to advancing the Maryland Campaign for Paid Sick Days.

YOU DID IT!  After four years of tireless advocacy, earned sick days legislation is headed to the floor of the Maryland House of Delegates!

The bill was voted out of the Economic Matters Committee late yesterday and is expected to be debated on the House floor this morning.

As momentum continues to build and we approach final passage in the House, we must rapidly turn our attention to the Maryland State Senate, where we need the leadership of Senate President Mike Miller to ensure passage in 2016.

Call Senate President Miller (410) 841-3700

Please take a quick moment today to call the office of Senate President Miller.  It couldn’t be easier and will only take a moment. We’ve pasted a sample script below so that you’ll know exactly what to say when an aide answers the phone.

Senate President Miller
(410) 841-3700

Sample Phone Script:

My name is ________ and I live in ________, Maryland. I’m calling to ask for Senate President Miller’s leadership on earned sick days legislation, known as Senate Bill 472.  More than 700,000 Marylanders can’t afford to wait another year for earned paid sick days.  It’s time for a Senate vote. Thank you!

With only 11 days remaining in the legislative session, please make a call today! Encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same.

For real time updates as the bill progresses on the House floor, follow Working Matters on Facebook and Twitter.

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

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Potential Sale of Some Giant Stores as Result of Ahold/Delhaize Merger

Delhaize-Ahold

An important message from President Mark Federici:

By now many of you may have heard about the potential sale of some Giant stores as a result of the Ahold/Delhaize merger. The stores that will be offered for potential sale are:

Giant 338, 7025 Berry Rd, Accokeek, MD 20607
Giant 339, 200 Rosewick Rd, La Plata, MD 20646
Giant 234, 550 Celebrate Virginia Parkway, Stafford, VA 22406
Giant 235, 5701 Plank Rd, Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Giant 243, 317 Worth Ave, Stafford, VA 22554
Giant 256, 10346 Courthouse Rd, Spotsylvania, VA 22553
Giant 770 1245 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Giant 789, 35 Town and Country Rd, Falmouth, VA 22405

It is in situations like this that being a Union member is most important. Our Union will do everything possible to make sure any potential buyer preserves the jobs of all current members and all the terms of our current contract.

Many of you remember that Giant has changed hands several times over the last 30 years, but Giant employees, members of our Union, have always maintained their contract and no members lost their jobs.

I have already written to Giant’s representatives (you can read the letter here) to remind them of their obligations to you as employees with a strong, binding collective bargaining agreement that you have fought hard for. We will continue to monitor the situation, and the staff, attorneys, and other professionals who work for our union are prepared to do whatever we can to preserve your jobs and our contract.

In the meantime, we will keep you informed through our stewards, staff representatives, our website, Facebook, Twitter, and other means of communication, of any developments as we learn of them. We need to stand strong together as Union members and be willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what we have.

 And remember – without our Union, employees would be nothing but an afterthought in this potential sale. With our Union and our solidarity, we are an important and strong player and have the means to preserve our wages, benefits, and our jobs.

Let’s work together over the coming weeks and months to make sure we stand strong and stand together.

Very truly yours,

Mark-Federici-Signature

Mark P. Federici
President

 

Local 400 Endorses Glenn Ivey for Congress in Maryland’s Fourth District

Photo courtesy of @Glenn_Ivey Twitter page.

Photo courtesy of @Glenn_Ivey Twitter page.

LANDOVER, MD – Today, Local 400 of the United Food & Commercial Workers officially endorsed Glenn Ivey for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District.

Mark Federici, President of UFCW Local 400, issued the following statement regarding the endorsement:

“Glenn Ivey has, and always will be, a friend to working families. In a time when Congress just isn’t working for our families, we know Glenn Ivey is the champion we need to raise wages, create jobs and expand vital middle class programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare.”

Local 400 has more than 2,500 members in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District and an additional 10,000 members throughout the state working in the retail food, health care, retail department store, food processing, service and other industries.

“So proud to have the support of the hard-working families of UFCW Local 400,” said Ivey. “I pledge to work hard everyday to get results for them like I did when I was State’s Attorney. In Congress, I will fight to preserve the accomplishments of President Obama against extremist Republican attacks in order to strengthen our families.”

Earlier this year, Local 400 endorsed Senator Jamie Raskin for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District and Congresswoman Donna Edwards for Senate.

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