Thursday, April 30, 2009

WALMART WORKERS HOLD HISTORIC NATIONAL ORGANIZING MEETING

United Food and Commercial WorkersImage via Wikipedia

Breaking News:




WALMART WORKERS HOLD HISTORIC NATIONAL ORGANIZING MEETING
Nearly 100 Workers From Across Country Meet With Congressional Leaders

Washington, DC Walmart workers from across the nation are converging today on Capitol Hill for a National Organizing Meeting to brief Senators about wages, benefits and the Employee Free Choice Act. Nearly 100 Walmart workers from 17 states are participating in the event. As part of their campaign for a union voice on the job, they will urge lawmakers to level the playing field for working people by supporting the Employee Free Choice Act.

I made the trip into Washington DC to stand with my fellow Walmart workers and to urge my Senators to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, said Dominique Sloan a Dallas, Texas, Walmart worker. We need change in this country. All you have to do is look at how all the money goes to CEOs. But when it comes to workers, its always the same, no health care or health care thats too expensive and low wages. We need to change that.

The National Organizing Committee is made up of Walmart workers from Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Despite Walmarts well-documented history of anti-working family activities, workers say they are excited by the election of Barack Obama, excited that the President says its not too much to ask Walmart to pay decent wages and provide good health care, and excited that the Employee Free Choice Act can help bring the change that helps workers and makes Walmart live up to its responsibilities.

I have three boys, and I had to get Florida Kids Care to cover their medical, says Cheryl Guzman, a Walmart worker from Miami. Its either you eat, or you have medical coverage, thats not right. Thats why Im part of Walmart Workers for Change.

Ten workers recently shared their stories in a new video, released earlier this week. Workers from the National Organizing Committee will be available to the press today after a Capitol Hill briefing at 10 a.m., in 328 Russell Senate Office Building.

Walmart Workers for Change
is a new campaign made up of thousands of Walmart workers joining together to form a union and negotiate better benefits, higher wages, and more opportunity for a better future. The campaign is a project of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). The UFCW represents 1.3 million workers nationwide, with nearly one million working in the supermarket industry. Many of UFCW members also work at national retail stores such as Bloomingdales, Macys, H&M, Modells Sporting Goods, Saks Fifth Avenue, RiteAid, CVS, and Syms.

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Toys 'R' Us selling Groceries, Another Target in Staten Island, Thursday One Liners...

Toys R Us and Hooters SignImage by matneym via Flickr


Aisle 4 in Toys 'R' Us: Groceries?, Toys 'R' Us announced they will begin selling groceries in 260 stores.

Kohl's and Target are looking for new stores in Staten Island.

Here's more from the 2009 Staten Island Conference.

A protest is set for tomorrow at Representative Peter King's office in light of his flip flopping views on the Employee Free Choice Act.

A Garment Factory raided by the DOL yesterday had been producing NYPD uniforms.

Supermercado de Wal-Mart, the new Hispanic-focused food concept from Wal-Mart, opened its first location in Houston Wednesday, bringing what Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman of Wal-Mart, called “the most dramatic expression” of its recent efforts to improve fresh food merchandising

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has given Ohio $1.7 million as repayment for a tax credit on an optical lab that the company closed in March.

Suffolk County makes a deal with union to avoid layoffs.

The Daily News writes on the future of the stores at Atlas Park.

Safeway workers overwhelmingly ratify a contract.

Duane Reade inks another deal in NYC.

NY Times: Cheap meat at the supermarkets.

Foxwoods and UAW talk, for 6-months now.

The group buying Balducci's chose to close the under performing stores.

The record online reports on the UFCW Local 1262 contract.

The city’s 59 community boards face budget cuts of around $7,000 each.

Marty Markowitz threw out plans for 10,000 square-feet of retail space along Surf Avenue, in Coney Island.

And finally a Nintendo DS was sold in a Wal-Mart full of rocks and Newspapers.


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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

BJ's inks a deal in Flushing, Bye Bye Bye to Balducci's, Miami Wal-Mart may organize soon, Tuesday Morning One Liners...

The interior of a typical :en:Costco :en:wareh...Image via Wikipedia


BJ's Wholesale Club inks another lease in the NYC Metro area.

BJ's to take 170,000 sqft in Canarsie, Brooklyn.

An 89 year old widow is suing BJ's Wholesale Club in an age biased firing.

Balducci's

Village Voice: Bye Bye Balducci's

New York Times: A quiet exit for Balducci's

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge here yesterday declined to void the labor contract that Bruno's Supermarkets has with its employees as the company prepares itself for auction this week.
Read more of this story

The end of Bruno's Supermarkets, LLC in its present form could begin as early as this week as a bankruptcy court auction scheduled for Wednesday gets under way, according to a published account. The auction is expected to result in some stores being sold off and others shuttered.


A&P establishes a new age policy for purchasing alcohol and tobacco.

A California UFCW Local may be absorbed by 2 others.

UFCW Local 371
approved a contract with A&P.

More detailed look at the newly approved contract from the Advocate.

King Soopers and Safeway have agreed tentatively with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local No. 7 to include more preventative health care in the new contract.

Costco last week agreed to settle a lawsuit over the sale of "hot gasoline,” -- gasoline above 60 degrees Fahrenheit that expands but is not accounted for at the pumps, resulting in consumers receiving less gasoline than they pay for.

Miami may be the first Wal-Mart to unionize in the United States.

Walmart Workers for Change, a new campaign claiming to represent thousands of the Bentonville, Ark.-based mega-retailer’s 1.3 million associates across the United States, the campaign has employees in over 100 stores in 15 states who have signed union representation cards, alleging a lack of respect from the company, in addition to low wages and inadequate benefits as reasons to become unionized.

Check their new video here.

Chicago's Wal-Mart super-center is now back on the table.

Bashas' plans to cut under performing stores.

The Fresh Market will expand to Philly.

Trader Joe's will open a new NJ store this summer.

A new Sam's Club will be opening in Edison N.J.

Fresh Direct responds to the anti-idling law.

Ruben Diaz Jr. is officially a borough president.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wal-Mart News...

A protest in Utah against Wal-MartImage via Wikipedia

Wal-Mart predicts zero waste by 2025.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc's recently retired Chief Executive, Lee Scott, took home a total of $30.2 million in the year ended January, slightly down from a year ago, as revealed by the company's proxy statement.


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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bruno's Management to receive bonuses, New Yorkers pay a lot for rent, Tuesday One Liners...

fresh&easyImage via Wikipedia


A court ruled yesterday that Bruno's management will receive bonuses...UFCW spokesman said:
"What you see on Wall Street has managed to work its way down South," said Corey Owens, the union spokesman. "These managers are about to get rich for running this company into the ground." If anyone if going to profit from the sale of Bruno's, Owens said, it should first and foremost be workers and communities that have stores.


A local pizzeria and bagel store are hurting now that stores like Circuit City and Linen's and Things have left in Staten Island.

Supermarket News has more on 1262's negotiations.

Tesco is expected to concede that its first U.S. operation, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets, will not be profitable this year when it announces full company results later this week..

Wal-Mart is cutting bottled water to save shelf space.

Hundreds of construction trade union members plan a rally 1 p.m. today at the Capitol to blast state funding for projects — including GlobalFoundries' $4.2 billion computer chip plant — that lack requirements for labor union pay rates, hiring or project agreements.

More than a quarter of New Yorkers are spending their money on rent, the Bronx was the hardest hit where 33.1% of residents use half their monthly income or more on rent.

A new bill introduced today would halt the sale of cigarettes in Supermarkets and Drug Stores.

Makers of Plastic Bags will use 40% of recycled material by 2015.

Ruben Diaz Jr. will be named Bronx Borough president today.

And finally Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie shopped in Stop & Shop this past weekend,

Elliot Spitzer beats Patterson in a new Poll.


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Monday, April 20, 2009

Local 1262 extends negotations, Monday Morning One Liners..

The Fresh MarketImage via Wikipedia


Supermarket News picked up Friday's Pathmark protest.

UFCW Local 1262 extends their contract negotiations.

Exon Mobil overtakes Wal-Mart Stores to top the Fortune 500.

UFCW steps up organizing efforts at Wal-Mart.

More Wal-Mart's around the country are showing signs of organizing.

The Henry Street Gristedes was damaged by a fire last week.

Safeway and Trader Joe's named most ethical.

Another supermarket ends online delivery.

BJ's eyes are still on Pittsburgh.

If you were wondering John Catsidmatids (Gristedes) did sleep in the Lincoln bedroom during the Clinton administration.

Woman was charged with embezzling $147K from the Fresh Market.

Dick Cheney has been caught shopping at Balducci's.

The closing fire sale at Balducci's has begun.

Progressive Grocer has more on the store closures...Balducci's has said they are “look[ing] forward to making an exciting announcement about the six continuing stores soon.”

The economy has stalled the progress of the Hyde Park Stop & Shop.

And finally a study has confirmed that teens tend to be "fatter" when a fast food restaurant is within one block of their school...

Wegmans Food Markets is testing new, larger shopping carts at a store here, the company said in a local news report last week.
Read more of this story






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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Protest against A&P tomorrow at Harlem Pathmark

News from UFCW Local 1500
Download the Press Release

Grocery Unions Rally at Harlem Pathmark to Protest A&P CEO Eric Claus Appearance on Good Morning America; Union Files Federal Charges Filed Against A&P

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 will be joined by other UFCW Locals in front of the Harlem Pathmark in New York City on Friday morning, April 17th to protest A&P CEO Eric Claus's appearance on Good Morning America.
CEO Claus is scheduled to film a segment for GMA on how to feed a family of four in today's economy, while his company proceeds to lay off Pathmark workers. UFCW Local 1500 recently filed charges against A&P/Pathmark with the New York State Department of Labor for violating NY State labor law in relation to A&P/Pathmark closing the West Hempstead, Long Island Pathmark. New Federal charges were also filed by UFCW Local 1500 today charging A&P/Pathmark with violating the National Labor Relations Act.
WHO: Representatives of United Food and Commercial Workers Union International, UFCW Local 1500, 464a, 342, 1262, 371, 1360, 152, 1776,1245 and UFCW/RWDSU 338
Download the Flyer here.

WHAT: Rally protesting A&P CEO Eric Claus' Appearance on Good Morning America.

WHERE: Pathmark 160 E 125th St, New York, NY 10035

WHEN: Friday April 17th, 8:45 AM-10:00 AM

WHY: UFCW Local 1500 has filed charges with both New York State and Federal agencies against A&P/Pathmark for various violations of law. The Union is also protesting the layoff of dozens of workers at A&P/Pathmark's due to the West Hempstead Pathmark store closing.

"A&P/Pathmark needs to answer this question: How does a family feed themselves after A&P/Pathmark lays them off," stated UFCW Local 1500 President Bruce W. Both. "For this company to give advice on how to feed families during these difficult times while needlessly adding people to the unemployment line is the height of hypocrisy. Good Morning America should not be a party to this charade," Both concluded.
Download the Press Release
Download the Flyer here
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Wal-Mart workers get a union contract in Canada, Balducci's gets a buyer, BJ's accepting Food Stamps, Thursday Morning One Liners...

United Food and Commercial WorkersImage via Wikipedia

Industry

Wal-Mart gets a union contract in Canada. More from Supermarket News.

An investor group buys Balducci's remaining stores.

Update on UFCW Colorado negotations.

Stop & Shop Hampton Bays opens doors tomorrow (Friday).

Fairway in Paramus donated food to families in need during Easter.

UFCW 1500 files charges against Pathmark [Supermarket News]

Sedano’s Supermarkets (Miami) on Wednesday said it would begin making a $30 monthly gift card donation to all of its hourly employees.

Judge OK's Bruno's decision.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court yesterday ordered Bruno’s Supermarkets to auction itself next week.
Read more of this story


Island Park getting a King Kullen.

Stop & Shop announces appointments to their leadership team.

A look at the correlation between Big Box stores and Crime.

BJ's Wholesale Club will begin accepting Food Stamps at all 180 locations.

They're also exploring expansion into Pittsburgh.

Politics

Long Island Business News: Albany needs to back local produce.

Bridgeport Connecticut needs and wants a grocery store.

Mitt Romney slams binding arbitration.

Former Governor Spitzer won't run in 2010.

Brookhaven Politics update: As a brand-new supervisor with a town board majority of the opposite party, Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko has to find a way to work with the Republicans...His first move, appointing Republican Councilwoman Kathleen Walsh as his deputy supervisor, is a bold opening gambit. If it works out, it's bipartisanship in action, not just in words.

The AFL-CIO and Change to Win (CtW) announced a historic joint unity framework for immigration reform. The joint announcement and proposal is a critical sign of support for the Obama administration and Congress to address immigration reform and to ensure that the issue remains a priority. It also signals that immigration reform is an important part of economic recovery. Read the entire blog here.[AFL Blog]
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Local 1500 files Complaint against A&P/Pathmark

United Food and Commercial WorkersImage via Wikipedia

For Immediate Release Contact: Pat Purcell

April 15th, 2009


Grocery Workers Union Files Complaint against A&P/Pathmark Supermarkets with New York State Department of Labor; Unions Seeks Enforcement of State W.A.R.N. Act

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, New York State’s largest Local Union representing grocery workers, is responding quickly and aggressively to A&P Supermarkets attempt to avoid compliance with New York State labor laws. A&P Supermarkets is refusing to comply with the New York State W.A.R.N. act which requires employers to pay workers wages for 90 days after announcing the closing of a facility. A&P recently announced the closing of the Pathmark Supermarket in West Hempstead, Long Island. A&P is the parent corporation of Pathmark Supermarkets.

“We are extremely concerned about our members who work in that store and will do everything within our power to minimize the affect this store closing has on our members and their families,” United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 President Bruce W. Both stated. “Additionally, I am outraged, though not surprised, that A&P would take such a callous position in regards to how they are treating our members and their families. The legal fees this company will incur battling our Union could easily be used to pay these workers according to the State law,” Both continued. “With this complaint we are putting A&P on notice that this Union will be relentless in protecting the rights of our members,” Both concluded. The Union is also looking at possible violations of Federal law.

UFCW Local 1500 also announced that they will be launching a campaign to alert consumers, shareholders, elected leaders and community organizations of A&P’s new corporate practice of treating workers as insignificant and minor contributors to A&P’s success.” The new A&P is taking a page from the text books of companies like Wal-Mart when it comes to how they are treating their employees,” President Both claimed. “Profits first wihout regard to the affect layoffs, schedule changes and other personnel changes have on workers and their families is how A&P is running their company. However, unlike Wal-Mart workers, A&P/Pathmark workers have a Union that will not sit by quietly and watch management treat workers this way,” Both declared. “Profits first, employees last is not only a failed business model, it is immoral and goes against the family values of New Yorkers.”

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, based out of Queens Village, represents over 23,000 grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Members of Local 1500 are employed by Pathmark, King Kullen, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, Fairway, D’Agostino, Dairy Barn, Key Food and Shop Rite.





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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday Morning One Liners...

Change to Win FederationImage via Wikipedia

Change to Win and AFL-CIO have united to create a coordinating committee.

D'Agostino to attend New York Food Chain Summit...The summit aims to bring together farmers and agricultural experts to plan a supply cahin from western NY farms to the NYC market.

Retailer Penn Traffic here will close two stores early next month, a company spokesman told SN Monday.
Read more of this story

Governor Patterson expected to OK red light cameras in Long Island.

Atlantic City press asks what would another Wal-Mart do in N.J.?

Bloomberg spends $3 Million on TV ads.

Coney Islands 'marketplace' is unveiled.

Layoffs of 8,700 state employees are set to begin in July.

That excludes non-unionized managers, who acquiesced to concessions.

Union bosses say this will put lives at risk.




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Monday, April 6, 2009

Balducci's to close NY stores, Bloomberg is an Independent, Monday Morning One Liners...

The major cities and roadways of New York State.Image via Wikipedia


Balducci's will
four stores in June, including both New York City locations.

The NY Post has some customer reactions and more on the closing.

The Minnesota Grocery Association is offering free re-usable bags to all customers as part of a campaign to make 'Green your Routine'

The RWDSU held a protest in New Jersey in front of an Auto Parts store where 50 union members protested a 2 year wage freeze and loss of pension funding.

Politics


Atlantic City - The manager of the local Wal-Mart and its exterminator were charged with animal cruelty after they allegedly used inhumane methods to take care of birds that had gotten into the store, the president of the Atlantic County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Thursday

Wendall Young IV, President of UFCW Local 1776 publicly debated the Employee Free Choice Act with Gene Barr, vice president of Pennslyvania's largest business association.

An executive who led what was once one of the country's biggest electrical wiring companies pleaded innocent Friday to charges that he bribed a union official. Former Petrocelli Electric chairman and principal owner Santo Petrocelli Sr. is accused of making secret payments for a decade to a representative of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

NY State AG, Andrew Cuomo is looking into charges that liquor stores have been threatening wine-makers who supported selling wine in grocery stores, a debate which ended last week.

Meanwhile, the battle of wine in grocery stores is far from over.

Dozens of migrant workers in Bradford, Markham, Leamington, and East Toronto have been arrested, detained and are likely slated for deportation at the Rexdale Immigration Holding Centre after a series of US style immigration raids carried out by CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) throughout this week.

Daily News: Patterson must improve poll numbers or forget about 2010.

NY State passes $131 million dollar budget.

Newsday looks at how bad the budget is for Long Island.

The Independence Party has endorsed Bloomberg.

Adolfo Carrion is admist another scandal, spending campaign cash for a farewell party.

Former representative John Sweeney now faces a felony D.W.I. charge.

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Happy Friday Morning One Liners...

Toys "R" UsImage via Wikipedia


Costco invades Harlem.

Toys 'R' Us is exploring groceries?

They're also promoting low price items in their stores.

Balducci's is closing a store...It's one of four closings the company will make by June of this year.

UFCW Local 555 files an unfair labor practice against Kroger.

Bruno's is asking federal bankruptcy judge to change their union contract in order to aid the sale of the company.

Jim Donald, former CEO of Starbucks and Pathmark gives some tips for tough times.

Brooklyn's Pomegrante is highlighted in Supermarket News for their Passover specialties.

Wage and Hour Watchers
in New York City.

When a workers salary is lighter...

NY Times (Michael Barbaro): Grocery Workers to Back Bloomberg, Slighting Democratic Rival

In the first labor endorsement of the mayor's race, the union representing 12,000 of the city's supermarket workers will back Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg for re-election....


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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bruno's to close 38 stores, UFCW Local Authorizes strike, Manhattan gets a Costco...

The Drop Dead cover in 1975Image via Wikipedia


Bankrupt Bruno’s Supermarkets Inc. has informed the state that 38 of its 60 Alabama stores may close by mid May, affecting nearly 2,200 employees.

UFCW Local 371 has authorized a strike at 15 A&P locations.

Two UFCW locals have merged into UFCW Local 75.

Looks like Manhattan will be graced with its first Costco.

Reeling from the real estate downturn in the city, construction unions and builders are edging closer to an agreement that they say will reduce labor costs and enable at least some of their projects in Manhattan to proceed despite the weak economy.

Younger shoppers use more online coupons.

NJ Star Ledger: the Employee Free Choice Act, backbone for a strong economy.

Labor leader Denis Rivera praised Mike Bloomberg.

The Daily News looks at Local 1500's early endorsements for the New York City Council.

Bigger Better Bottle Bill is in the new state budget.



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