Friday, June 18, 2010

Media Advisory: Grocery Union Urges Consumers to Use Caution When Placing 4th of July Food Orders

News from UFCW Local 1500

Grocery Union Urges Consumers to Use Caution When Placing 4th of July Food Orders...
Picket Lines and Staff Shortages Would Affect Service

QUEENS VILLAGE, NY (06/18/2010)(readMedia)-- United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, New York State's largest grocery workers' Union, is urging shoppers to exercise "caution" as they begin to place their food orders for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. The "Consumer Alert" is part of the Union's campaign to notify the public of a potential strike that could affect over 150 supermarkets and 16,000 workers. With contracts set to expire Saturday, June 26th, any potential job action could affect the 4th of July weekend for tens of thousands of customers. Companies involved in the negotiations are Stop and Shop Supermarket, King Kullen Markets and Pathmark, which is owned by A&P (Great Atlantic and Pacific Company).

"Due to the potential of a strike over the Fourth of July weekend, we urge shoppers to consider alternatives when placing their food orders at Pathmark and the other two companies," said Patrick Purcell, spokesperson for UFCW Local 1500. "Customers have a right to know what is happening. In the event of a labor dispute, no matter what "contingency plans" the three companies will try to implement, no shopper should feel comfortable putting their deli, bakery, floral or produce orders in the hands of a Supermarket whose workers are on strike."

"The area that would be affected is home to over one million union households" Purcell explained. "Those families will never cross a picket line. Nor will the friends and neighbors of the workers who are on strike. Should there be a strike or the continued threat of a strike at Pathmark and the other Supermarkets, the best solution for everyone would be to seek other shopping options till the dispute is resolved."

Greg Pasqual, a Stop and Shop worker from Dutchess County, explained the problem. "You can't replace 80% of your workforce expecting to deliver the same quality products and customer service shoppers demand from Stop and Shop and the two other Supermarkets."

"Even if they [Stop & Shop and Pathmark] transfer help from Connecticut and New Jersey into the striking stores, that would just hurt customers who shop at those Supermarkets in New Jersey and Connecticut. King Kullen does not even have that option and would face massive staff shortages. We need to avoid this strike so no one, especially our customers, will have their Holiday weekend ruined," Pasquale concluded.

For consumers, the Union has sent up a web address that will lead them to public updates about the potential strike. The website is www.nysupermarkets.com.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 is based out of Queens Village and represents 23,000 grocery workers in the Metropolitan New York area.

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