A&P in Bankruptcy Court Update
UFCW counsel emphasized the sacrifices employees had made since the last bankruptcy, advised the court that local unions were meeting with potential buyers in connection with the sale process, and stated that potential buyers should not attempt to go around the union.
A&P’s lawyers stated that while they would continue to meet with the local unions to try to negotiate acceptable agreements, that they expected soon to file an emergency motion seeking to modify our collective bargaining agreements.
The court approved revised store sale procedures which require A&P to consult with the union before making any store sale decisions. The court also set a store bid timetable requiring that all bids under the initial bidding process be made by September 11, and that all qualified bids be announced on September 21. The court also set forth a schedule for multiple and alternative bids that concludes no later than October 7, 2015.
The court also approved revised procedures requiring the company, in evaluating buyer bids, to consider the impact of a bid on the employees and their collective bargaining agreements, and whether the bidder has reached an agreement with the affected unions.
Key Foods, which has submitted bids for a number of stores, removed certain contingencies from its bids and provided the company with evidence of financing commitments.
The court approved $100 million in loans to keep the company operating during the initial stages of the bankruptcy. Concern was expressed by the UFCW and others that the loan budget did not include sufficient funds for employee severance. The court approved a procedure that set aside some funds, if the proceeds from sales of stores are high enough, to potentially pay some of these claims. However, the amount, status, and availability of those set-aside funds is not clear and will not be decided before the end of the year or early next year.
Please know that we are tirelessly working each day, exhausting all our resources to prevent stores from closing and to save as many jobs as possible. We will continue to keep you updated on any news, in the meantime you can find all our previous Pathmark updates here.
Stay strong, now, more than ever. You have the support, the backing and the solidarity of our entire 22,500 member union.
Bruce W. Both
UFCW Local 1500