Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wal-Mart forced to pull advertisment with lies, Local 1776 and 7 contract updates

Acme MarketsImage via Wikipedia


Wal-Mart Stores has pulled a national advertisement that says consumers can save $700 a year shopping at its stores after H-E-B challenged the ad and filed its objections with an industry group.

More on Wal-Mart's checkered advertising campaigns.

Ahold yesterday made an offer to repurchase notes to reduce net interest expense and debt. The Amsterdam-based retail conglomerate’s subsidiary, Ahold Finance USA, is proposing to buy back any and all of the outstanding $690 million 8.25 percent guaranteed senior notes due in July 2010. The buyback will be paid for out of existing cash balances.

Meanwhile the S&P upgraded their stock.

Safeway workers across Colorado have overwhelmingly rejected the grocery chain's counter-offer and re-authorized a strike first approved on May 8.

Workers for Acme Markets Inc. poured into the Spectrum last night to reject a controversial contract, paving the way for a potential July 10 work stoppage at 41 Southeastern Pennsylvania stores

Meanwhile Coloardo Safeway workers have rejected their contract proposal as well.

UFCW Local 1776 and Acme are 'nearing a showdown' as the Philadelphia Inquirer says.

Over 25,000 letters sent to the city councils of Los Angeles and New York urging elected officials to not let Wal-Mart build stores in their communities.

A Saskatchewan judge has overturned the union certification of a Walmart in Weyburn. CKOM is reporting that Justice Peter Foley said in his ruling that workers should be allowed to vote on whether they want a union or not.

Walgreens will reintroduce beer and wine into their stores.




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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday Morning One Liners...

Rite Aid CorporationImage via Wikipedia

Spartan Stores, a grocery supplier to independent grocers and operator of 99 retail stores throughout Michigan, offering GM workers and UAW workers who lost their jobs discounts on gasoline and groceries.

Rite-Aid workers and union supporters will rally in Times Square on Thursday before a shareholders meeting...workers in Lancaster have been struggling over one year to negotiate their first union contract.

A national Ad group has told Wal-Mart Stores yesterday that it should stop running TV ads claiming customers can save $700 a year by shopping its stores. This is not the first time Wal-Mart has been told to stop making claims like these in advertisements.

Wal-Mart has also named a new diversity officer.

Wal-Mart is also having yet another 'sales tax mishap', overcharging customers, this time in Missouri. If you remember this was previously an issue in Connecticut.

Lee Scott, the former chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores, called on attendees at the CIES World Food Business Summit here on Friday to join the Global Social Compliance Program to help ensure that suppliers are adhering to local wage and environmental regulations.

A&P store in Midland Park, N.J. next Saturday morning will have a Jonas Brothers day.

Price Chopper has announced they will analyze their labor costs.

Hyde Park Stop & Shop update: voting waits on traffic light location.

Another study has confirmed, lack of nearby supermarkets takes years off life.

As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, adding a supermarket to a neighborhood could, collectively, mean a gain of up to 15 years of life for those suffering from diabetes; 13 years for those with liver disease; 58 years for people with diet-related cancers; and 112 years for people with cardiovascular disease.


City Council Speaker Christine Quinn unveiled an agreement with the Bloomberg administration last Thursday on a trifecta of measures geared toward making it easier for small businesses in the city to launch and prosper.

The city of Philadelphia has rejected a measure that would ban plastic bags.

USA Today: For immigrants, living the dream is getting tougher.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Local 1500 to Bloomberg: Fix up your supermarket plan, King Soopers members reject contract proposal, Thursday One-Liners...

Virgin Megastore on Oxford StreetImage via Wikipedia


End of a retailing era, Virgin Megastore shuts its doors in NYC.

Local 1500 tells Mayor Bloomberg to beef up his supermarket plan.

A Food Basics store will open at the site of a former A&P in Fairview, N.J., next week.

A&P is also debuting a new private label for kids.

Why Wal-Mart needs the Employee Free Choice Act.

UFCW Local 1776 members at Acme supermarkets will vote on a contract next week.

Overhill Farms, a major food-processing plant in the L.A. area, terminated more than 200 employees after an IRS audit finds that they had provided 'invalid or fraudulent' Social Security numbers, UFCW 770 calls it a 'desktop raid'.

Here's more on the firings of 254 employees.

UFCW 7 members at King Soopers have rejected the contract offer...On the contract offer:
Roxanne Heeney, a pharmacy technician at the King Soopers store at 6030 Stetson Hills Blvd. and an employee for more than 20 years, said the offer "really bums me out, that they are trying to decrease our benefits and not give us any wage increase. I can't make ends meet now. I want to avoid a strike, but if we have to strike, we will. I would like to see something that would help us maintain our retirement fund so we won't have to work until we're 95."

King Soopers in Colorado, has also filed a suit accusing union representatives of disrupting business and intimidating workers by sending groups of union representatives into stores to talk to workers.

They're set to meet today in court, as King Soopers tries to block the UFCW representatives from speaking to their members on the sales floor.

The Progressive Grocer has an indepth story on King Soopers allegations of "Union Hooliganism"

They're also reporting 'Fresh & Easy' to open four stores in July.

The UFT replaces Randy Weingarten.

A horrific accident took the lives of three workers and injured 41 others in an explosion and roof collapse at the ConAgra Foods Inc. facility in Garner, North Carolina, on June 9, 2009. The (UFCW) Local 204 represents 900 workers in that facility.

Politics

Howard Dean has endorsed both Brad Lander and Josh Skaller, only problem, they're running against each other.

Another poll confirms Patterson's unpopularity.

Senator Monnserratte is now turning to back the Dems.

NYSUT endorses Gillibrand.

The Food Safety Bill continues to advance in the house.

As the Senate reels, Espada says he gets 2 votes

Sen. Pedro Espada, the dissident Bronx Democrat in charge of the deadlocked Senate, is insisting that he can count himself twice to get a quorum to start passing bills. At the same time, he is contending that an investigation into his finances by prosecutors is payback for cozying with Republicans to take over the Senate. Meanwhile, allegations were flying that former Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith of Queens directed state money to a school attended by, in Espada's words, Smith's "out-of-wedlock child."




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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Prayer Vigil for Food Justice

United Food and Commercial WorkersImage via Wikipedia


Inter-Faith Leaders to Join Forces with United Food and Commercial Workers 1500 to Call on Elected Officials to End Child Hunger and Support a Just and

What: Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist faith leaders will join representatives of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1500, We Act for Environmental Justice, The Majora Carter Group, and the NYC Coalition Against Hunger on the steps of City Hall to demand changes to food policy at the city and federal level.

When: Thursday, June 18th 9am

Who: Lisa Sharon Harper, New York Faith & Justice
Charles Calloway, We Act for Environmental Justice
Allen Strouse, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500
Alexandra Yannias, Interfaith Voices Against Hunger/Feed the Solution
James Subudhi, We ACT for Environmental Justice
Tanya Fields, The Majora Group
Rabbi Jeremy Kalmonofsky, Ansche Chesed
Anindita Chatterjee Bhaumik, Faith Connect
Jaspreet Singh, United Sikhs
Nurah Amatullah, Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development

Where: New York City Hall, Manhattan

Visuals: Faith leaders and non-profit leaders joining hands on City Hall steps.

Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice, co-chaired by Lisa Sharon Harper (New York Faith & Justice) and Charles Calloway (We ACT for Environmental Justice), is a diverse collaboration between faith leaders committed to making deep impact on issues of environmental justice in New York City through coordinated collective action on issues such as food justice, climate justice, and energy conservation.


United Food and Commercial Workers Join Forces with Inter-Faith Leaders to Call for a Just and Sustainable Food System for NYC

Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist faith leaders locked hands with representatives of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1500, We Act for Environmental Justice, and the NYC Coalition Against Hunger on the steps of City Hall to demand changes to food policy at the city and federal level. Their “demands” were in the form of prayers and policy recommendations.

On the City level, faith leaders urged Mayor Bloomberg to include food policy in PlaNYC, an omission that disproportionately affects low-income and minority residents who are more likely to be unable to afford and access healthy food in their communities.

On the federal level, faith leaders called on Congressional leaders to support a strong Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, which Congress will consider this year.

Lisa Sharon Harper, co-chair of Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice, the vigil’s sponsor, explained, “Low income black and brown families are sitting in the back of the bus when it comes to food in New York City. They pay up to twice as much for less nutritional value and they are twice as likely to suffer from diabetes as higher income New Yorkers.”

“As faith leaders,” Harper said, “we have a moral mandate to speak up when the very lives of the vulnerable are threatened by the systems that govern us.”

Said Alexandra Yannias, coordinator of Interfaith Voices Against Hunger/Feed the Solution, an initiative of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, and facilitator of the Faith Leaders’ food justice working group: “As more children suffer from hunger, obesity, and diabetes in our communities, we must improve federal legislation for child nutrition to create a healthier generation. We call on Congress to support a strong Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act by increasing the per meal reimbursement for school meals to allow the programs to purchase healthier foods and by making the programs universal in low-income neighborhoods.”

Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice, co-chaired by Harper and Charles Calloway of We ACT for Environmental Justice, is a diverse collaboration between faith leaders committed to making deep impact on issues of environmental justice in New York City through coordinated collective action on issues such as food justice, climate justice, and energy conservation.

At the group’s May 2009 breakfast gathering representatives from the Office of Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer, and the Department of Health highlighted some promising policy recommendations one of which was the creation of a “food shed” for the city.

A food shed would create a 200-mile zone around New York City that could provide more fresh produce at a cheaper rate by taking advantage of local farms and distributors. Though the city would not expect to obtain 100 percent of its food from the food shed, it would seek to provide as much food as possible from the food shed to streamline the city’s food system.

Policy decisions must integrate a just and sustainable food system into the political structure of New York City. Currently, fast food restaurants are subsidized by the city to locate at 125th street or above. Meanwhile, supermarkets are closing in that area and pharmacies are opening in their place to meet the high demands for diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease medication.

“The city’s FRESH program offers economic incentives for healthy supermarkets to locate in currently underserved areas,” said Harper. “Incentives are what we need but they must come in tandem with standards developed by the people of the community.”

“Job standards are especially important, since underserved areas have the highest rates of poverty and unemployment,” added Allen Strouse, Food Policy Associate for United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1500. “Incentives need to guarantee that employers provide good jobs so that programs like FRESH truly benefit working-class New Yorkers. We need supermarkets that bring good food, good jobs, and good
health.”

UFCW, which serves the interests of 22,000 members, will participate in the vigil.

The day of justice continued that evening at New York Faith and Justice’s event, An Offering of Letters for Food Justice. Hosted by St. Mary’s Episcopal Church at 521 W. 126th St at 7 pm, participants shared stories of food injustice and its effects in our city and our schools. They wrote letters to Mayor Bloomberg and congressional representatives calling for food to be adopted as part of PlanNYC and for the passage of the Child Reauthorization Act.

Said Yannias, “We cannot continue to stand-by as low-income communities in New York City suffer from hunger and diet-related diseases. We must take action now by calling on our representatives on the federal and city levels to improve how we feed our children and our communities.”

Lisa Sharon Harper, who is also executive director of New York Faith & Justice, reflected, “For those who have much, food seems like an insignificant side issue. For those who have little, food is the difference between life and death, health and debt.”

“We must redistribute the health in New York City,” Harper added, “and we must do it now.”


Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice is guided by the cooperative leadership of New York Faith & Justice, We Act for Environmental Justice, the Interfaith Center of New York, New York Theological Seminary, Hazon, Interfaith Voices Against Hunger, NY Divinity School, Riverside Church of New York City, and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gourmet Garage will open in about a month, New Farmers Market on Long Island, UFCW Local 7 Contract updates...

Gourmet GarageImage by stijn via Flickr

Workers in King Soopers, Denver voted on the company's latest contract proposal on Tuesday, in a letter to members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, union President Ernest Duran said King Soopers’ proposal “slashes pensions, fails to preserve health care benefits, maintains the unfair two-tier system and penalizes the corporation’s workers.”

A Farmers / Flea Market will be opening every Saturday at SUNY Old Westbury on Long Island.

Woodhaven Lanes, well what was formerly Woodhaven Lanes, may soon turn into retail space in Glendale Queens.

The New York Times looks at how the recession has hit Jamaica Queens.

Smith’s Food & Drug yesterday came to a tentative agreement on a new contract with United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1564 of Albuquerque, N.M
Supermarket News has more.

Albertsons will close another store in Florida.

Gourmet Garage will open up at the former Balducci's in "about a month"

UFCW 1776 has until today to vote on Acme Markets' "last, best and final contract offer"

Politics

A New York Times/Cornell/NY1 poll shows seven in ten New Yorkers don’t want to elect David Paterson as governor in 2010.

Carolyn Maloney is persistent on running against Kristin Gillibrand.


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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday Morning One Liners...



D'Agostino is debuting a new logo (left).





Wal-Mart: Unemployment up, so let's outsource more jobs to India!

Wal-Mart's shareholder meeting unveiled that the company has been overwhelmingly profiting throughout this recession.

Wal-Mart's shareholder voting results.

Whole Foods Market stores in Manhattan this week are offering to take shoppers home for free — via rickshaw.

Delaware introduces 'Beer and Wine at the Grocery Store' Bill.

Safeway and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 here agreed last week to extend their current contract through June 26 as negotiations continue over wages, health care and pensions, according to the local.

Meanwhile, UFCW workers for King Soopers Inc. will vote in the Denver area Monday and Colorado Springs on Tuesday on the supermarket chain's latest contract offer

The UFCW filed a $450,000 claim in the bankruptcy case of Bruno's Supermarkets LLC, saying that its investment banking adviser made a "substantial contribution" to securing a buyer for 31 of the grocery chain's stores.

More on "Hand Scanners"

Wal-Mart's Hispanic themed store "Mas Club" will debut in Houston on July 2nd.

Wal-Mart, Tesco, both not seeing results from small store formats...

G.O.P. Regains Control of New York State Senate

The Democrats' tenuous control of the New York State Senate abruptly collapsed on Monday, throwing the Legislature into chaos with just two weeks remaining in its session. Two dissident Democrats, who had been secretly strategizing with Republicans for weeks, bucked their party's leaders and joined with 30 Republican senators to form what they said would be a bipartisan power-sharing deal. But the arrangement effectively re-establishes Republican control. The change upends the agenda in Albany, where Democrats had assumed power in the Senate in January, with 32 seats, after more than 40 years in the minority. Democrats were pushing bills to give tenants more rights, strengthen abortion rights and legalize same-sex marriage this session.




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Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday Morning One Liners...

Produce in Cary, North Carolina storeImage via Wikipedia

A campaign to organize Wal-Mart in Minnesota is picking up steam...

Wal-Mart also announced that the weak economy has slowed the expansion of 'Marketside', their small-store format banner.

PriceChopper opens a 'Green' store.

King Kullen amongst several businesses that will hire Veterans.

The working class has learned Governor Ritter (Colorado) is no friend to the working class.

Safeway and grocery employees agreed Thursday to extend their work contract until June 26.

Whole Foods Market said last week that Lady Moon Farms and Alderman Farms are the first Florida tomato growers to sign agreements with the natural food retailer in support of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' (CIW) "penny-per-pound" program, which is designed to boost tomato harvesters’ pay. Both farms are long-term partners of Whole Foods.

And the jobless rate jumped to 9.4%.

Rudy Giuliani joined Sarah Palin for a Yankees game.

Is Palin running for president?


Just a reminder Local 1500's General Membership meeting is this Wednesday, you can RSVP on Facebook.
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Friday, June 5, 2009

Scan It! updates, Price Chopper sues a competitor and builds a Green store, Friday Morning One Liners...

What's up with the King Kullen in South Hampton development?

Here's another piece and video on 'ScanIt' the new supermarket technology that allows customers to scan their products.

Price Chopper is suing Giant Food Markets for $20 million for allegedly stealing trade secrets... According to a complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court here, a surveillance tape caught a former salesman for the beverage distribution company AL George LLC entering an "employees only" bottle supply closet at a Price Chopper in Binghamton, N.Y., and stealing ad fliers that were planned for distribution the following week. He then passed them on to his immediate superior in the store's parking lot, who in turn gave the fliers to August O. Kutchinski, director of operations for Giant Markets of Binghamton, the lawsuit alleges.

Price Chopper is also debuting a prototype "Green Supermarket"

Supermarket News picked up the bagger story here.

Wegmans Food Markets is encouraging shoppers to support "One Stop Shop N.J.," a proposal to let more supermarkets sell beer and wine.

Aldi is opening a new Georgia warehouse.

Sales were down at Costco, Target, and BJ's in May.

Read more about the Food Safety Enchancement act of 2009

Keep Wal-Mart out of NYC.

More on the Colorado UFCW Local's fight with their Governor. Governor Ritter, also plans on vetoing another union bill, one that would enable fire-fighters to unionize.

Politics

Carolyn McCarthy said she won’t run against Kirsten Gillibrand, citing personal reasons

Steve Israel is 'open' to backing Gillibrand's opponent.

Andrew Cuomo's editorial in Newsday.

The NY Assembly votes to legalize mixed martial arts (MMA) in NY.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Recycling water bottles put on hold, UFCW merge in Ohio, Non-Union supermarkets not paying baggers, Wednesday Morning One Liners...

PET BOTTLESImage by quaisi via Flickr


Peapod has introduced a line of six ready-to-heat, healthy prepared meals by celebrity Chicago chef Michael Foley. Exclusive to the e-grocer, the restaurant-quality entrees are available for

delivery in the Chicago market under the Peapod’s Chef Express Smart Selections brand.

The New York State Department of Labor announced a major settlement with supermarkets (non-union) that were not paying their baggers an hourly wage.

Newsday: The future of the Supermarket: Hand Scanners.

NY Times Dining section says goodbye to Balducci's and Hello Gourmet Garage.

More on the Ohio UFCW merger.

IGA opened a store in Guam last week.

This week the National Association of Chain Drug Stores sent a letter to Congressional leaders asking for pro-patient, pro-pharmacy provisions in healthcare reform.

The Illinois Food Marketing Task Force is calling on lawmakers to create a new “Illinois Fresh Food Fund” initiative to stimulate supermarket development in underserved areas across the state while simultaneously improving health in low-income communities and attracting significant private investment and jobs

A new Stop & Shop in Orangeberg...

Politics

The expansion on NY State's recycling laws has been halted by a federal judge, putting a stop to recycling water bottles, which the state anticipated to receive millions of dollars from to aid the budget.

Environmentalists are upset that a court has delayed the state's bottle deposit law.

New York City is the safest of the 25 largest cities in the United States.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city labor officials announced a tentative agreement Tuesday to amend health benefits for more than 550,000 current and retired city employees, guaranteeing the city $400 million in savings over the next two fiscal years.

The Governor of Colorado has turned his back on UFCW members.
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

AmazonFresh stays in Seattle, Pathmark hosts a Sylvia dinner, June One Liners,...

Image representing Amazon EC2 as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBase

AmazonFresh, a food delivery system that is only available in Seattle through Amazon.com, will halt any expansion plans and only remain in Seattle for the time being.

Pathmark will host 'Sylvia's Soul Tour', events aimed at raising money for the American Cancer Society. First dinner takes place at the Harlem store on June 5 from 3-7PM

UFCW Local's 21 and 44 have merged and will now be apart of UFCW 21.

Ohio's UFCW announces a government relations director.

Wal-Mart Stores has agreed to establish a “rigorous” price inspection and monitoring system in Arizona to ensure the state’s consumers have access to accurate and clearly posted prices, the policy comes out of a lawsuit filed in July 2006 when Wal0Mart had failed 526 pricing inspections out of 976 conducted by Arizona's Department of Weights and Measures.

Connecticut could ban the sale of plastic baby bottles, food containers and cups containing Bisphenol-A, following the approval of the ban in the Connecticut Senate...BPA, is used to harden plastic and make it shatterproof, also used to line the insides of food containers, is widely considered by scientists to be a serious health threat.

Wal-Mart workers in St.Paul are rallying to organize on Thursday.

There's talk of reppealing a big box ban in California.

In Colorado King Soopers union employees were at work without a contract Monday after their previous deal expired Sunday.

Politics

There are two bills moving through NYS Legislature that would eliminate some difficult hurdles for public employee unions to strike.

Here's some info on the "Farmworker Fair Practice Act" which would provide such benefits as, collective bargining rights for farm laborers, a minimum rest guarentee, and an overtime rate.

Sarah Palin will be honored in Long Island this week.

Andrew Cuomo won't challenge Governor Patterson.

Anthony Weiner endorses Bill Thompson for Mayor of NYC.





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