|English: The logo of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The last few years working in uncertainty for Pathmark has put tremendous stress on you and your families. Since the latest bankruptcy filing, the unclear future has impacted our entire union. 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. Now, more than ever, we must stand together and support each other. We are with you.
On Wednesday we, along with representatives of the UFCW International and UFCW Local Unions, met with representatives from A&P to discuss critical issues in the bankruptcy.
We discussed crucial issues such as, the sales process, to find out out the company’s plans and motives to sell the remainder of its stores. We also deliberated with the company on their proposed modifications to our already modified contracts.
As we previously updated, A&P is again proposing “adjustments” to our contracts that stand to eliminate or alter many of our contractual protections and benefits. These terms will most likely diminish the value of A&P’s assets and threaten thousands of jobs. Here are some concessions A&P is seeking:
• Displacing workers with seniority (elimination of bumping rights)
• Limiting our right to strike
• Letting non-union workers come into our stores and do our jobs
• Reducing or eliminating our severance pay
Each one of these issues was discussed with urgency on Wednesday and we collectively conveyed this message to A&P: our members have already sacrificed more than enough. These proposals are very sensitive, they stand to affect thousands of families throughout the Northeast.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone has been very active in voicing his support and solidarity. He has voiced our collective concerns to the board of Fortress Investment Group, the financing firm hired by A&P.
We will be meeting with the company again on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 to continue negotiations.
I must encourage you all to not buy into the rumors you hear throughout the stores. There are many rumors circulating throughout all A&P stores and throughout social networks. Do not empower them by continuing to spread them. Once we have any factual information, you will be immediately notified.
All of the UFCW Local Unions remain in constant contact. We are united and are continuing to meet with potential buyers to discuss their acquisition of stores, and continue to meet with and urge our union employers to place bids on the unsold stores.
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