By now you may have heard about the merger of Albertson’s and Safeway and the acquisition of Safeway by Cerberus, a private equity firm. It’s in situations like this that being a Union member really pays off. In our Union contract, we have language that requires any purchaser to agree to take our contract and all its benefits and to hire all of the current employees and recognize their seniority for all purposes.
If you will remember, Giant has changed hands several times over the last 20 years, but Giant employees have always maintained their contract and no employees lost their jobs because Giant has the very same language that Safeway does, and the Union has always made sure the language was enforced.
I have already written to Safeway’s representatives in California to remind them of their obligations under the contract. We will continue to monitor the situation, and our staff, our attorneys and other professionals are prepared to do whatever it takes to preserve your jobs and our contract. In the meantime, we will keep you informed through your stewards, the website, Facebook and other means, of any developments as we learn of them. But we will need you to stand strong together as Union members and do what is necessary to protect what we have.
And remember – without our Union, employees would be nothing but an afterthought in this deal. With our Union, our solidarity, and our strong contract language, we are an important player and have the means to preserve our wages and benefits, and our jobs. Let’s work together to make sure that happens.
Mark P. Federici
UFCW Local 400