Friday, October 23, 2015

Update on Pathmark Bankruptcy Developments

 
 
It is with a very heavy heart that your Union leadership sends this update on our Pathmark stores.
  
Based on the most recent information available, the remaining unsold Pathmark stores will be closing on or about 11/23/15.  At it's high point the Pathmark Company employed more than 7,000 Local 1500 members in over 50 stores. In about a month's time they will all be gone.  There is no way to measure or to put in words the amount of pain and suffering that will be left behind in the wake of this company's demise.

As we work together  during the company's final month we wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of the Local 1500 members, both past and present, for all of their hard work and dedication throughout their careers. Thank you for the positive energy and incredible effort that you brought to work and showed your customers every day, regardless of the countless number of roller coaster-like turns and drops this company thrusted into your lives.  
 
When you consider the enormous difficulty, stress, and uncertainty that working at Pathmark over the last decade has brought you and your families, the fact that most of you persevered through this all is a testament to how strong you are, not only as Union members and supermarket workers, but as people. 
 
Corporate greed and mismanagement has brought the company where it is today. The men and women working at Pathmark have done nothing to cause  what has  happened or what will happen in the coming weeks, yet you are forced to carry the burden.

Throughout this process and well into the future, your Union will continue  working with you to help ease your transition in any way that we can.  Whether it be through hosting additional Resource Fairs, notifying you of upcoming hiring fairs and job openings, or influencing our other Union operators to hire from the Pathmark Bench (the pool of displaced members, please sign up here). We're also trying to secure temporary seasonal employment opportunities available through our current employers.  In the coming weeks the Union along with the New York Department of Labor's Rapid Response Team, will be coming into each store to provide information, answer questions and assist you with any benefit filings.  We're also here for guidance and assistance with regard to filing your pension and/or COBRA paperwork. We will also provide you with assistance in filing for unemployment or other state benefit programs.  
 
There is no limit to the commitment we have to you, our union brothers and sisters, you are all truly like family. The level of support Local 1500 and its Union Representatives are willing to provide you is limitless. 

We have made every effort to try and predict members’ questions and have the answers ready when you ask, but unfortunately the bankruptcy process doesn't always allow that to happen.  We have already requested access to all of the severance payout information so that we can track it and quickly grieve any payments that are incorrect.  We were told officially that all severance payments will be made within 30 days of the store closing, however the company stated  today that their intent is to mail or direct deposit severance checks (in one lump sum) one week after your last payroll check is received.  
 
We have also submitted a formal request to A&P with regard to their handling of your 2015 W2 forms to ensure that process goes smoothly. We've linked a .pdf with some additional information that you may find helpful when filing your income taxes next year. Please download this PDF by clicking here.
 
 
The most recent store updates are as follows:

1. Last Friday the first 3 (#619, #626 & #661) of our Pathmark stores that were renovated were reopened under the Stop & Shop banner.

2. Today the next 3 Pathmark stores (#608, #616 & #667) that were renovated were reopened under the Stop & Shop banner.

3. Next Friday 10/30, 3 more Pathmark stores (#622, #638 & #647) are expected to be fully renovated and reopened under the Stop & Shop banner.
 
4. By 11/13 the remaining 3 Pathmark stores purchased by Stop and Shop are also expected to be fully renovated and reopened under their banner.
 
5. Pathmark store #609 was bought back by the landlord for $21 million.
 
6. Aurora Foods has filed an objection to Bogopa Food Bazaar's purchase of the Pathmark #600 in Brentwood based on an issue with the purchase price.  We are awaiting an update from the court with respect to this store.
 
7. All 3 of our Pathmark stores purchased by Key Food (#297, #637 & #679) are scheduled for transfer to their new Key Food owners during the first 2 weeks of November, but no other specifics are known beyond that.  We are still actively trying to negotiate a new contract for these stores.
 
8. The bankruptcy court hasn't reconvened and/or determined final approval on the sales for Pathmark Stores #611 & #634, but we expect that to be addressed again in court next week.  We are hoping that the resolution either includes an agreement to hire a significant amount of the current employees, or that the bid be moved to the 2nd bidder, a Union supermarket operator.  
 

For our members in Pathmark's #603, #649 & #653 your stores were purchased by Union owners that have expressed a desire to continue their representational relationship with RWDSU/UFCW Local 338.  As of right now there is still no resolution, but there is an assurance that those stores will all be operated as Union Supermarkets, and the Unions are working as fast as they can to resolve the issue. In the meantime, Locals 1500, 342 & Local 338 are working together everyday with the new owners to save and protect your benefits by guaranteeing as many Union jobs as we can.

All of our Pathmark stores not purchased by Stop & Shop or Key Food have either already started the liquidation process or will start it no later than next Friday, 10/30. Contrary to some rumors, there is currently NO official list of closing dates for all of the unsold stores. If that changes and a list is produced by the company we will immediately post it for our members-like we have done with all of the other information along the way. 
 
It's more than likely that stores will close in groups based on store inventory levels and other relevant business conditions. Regardless, we will have Union Representatives in all stores monitoring the progress and verifying the information as it becomes available.  Vendors, in most cases, have already stopped deliveries and many of the store deliveries (Frozen, Non-Foods, Floral, Bakery, Deli & Seafood) will also be stopping as of today.
 

Severance
 
For all remaining Pathmark members in unsold stores, the proposed severance package is at least 52% of the monetary amounts negotiated in the 2011 bankruptcy settlement (see below). This is also the case for all members in stores purchased by landlords, real estate entities, or non-union employers that do not offer comparable employment. In addition 100% of the Healthcare package listed below is also included in the settlement.
 
 The negotiated severance calculations from 2011 are as follows:
 
Full-Timers: 3 months of health coverage, plus one week of severance for every two years of service, subject to: 
 
  • Maximum of 4 weeks of severance if less than 15 years of service
  • Maximum of 9 weeks of severance if 15-25 years of service
  • Maximum of 18 weeks of severance if over 25 years of service
 
Part-Timers: 2 months of health coverage, one week of severance for every four years service, subject to max of 4 weeks of severance.
 
Again, please note that upon termination of employment, you will receive at least 52% of this severance calculation. 


In addition, the company has said every member will receive a letter in the mail which will explain the exact amount of your check.  This will be delivered sometime during your last week of employment.  Also included in the letter will be additional instructions on how to file a claim for the balance of your severance pay on Prime Clerk.  Should you have an issue with the amount stated in the letter please call your Union Representative as soon as you receive the letter, waiting can only make a resolution more difficult. Severance checks will be mailed or direct deposited based on your current pay arrangement with Pathmark.

 
Rumors
 
Like many of you we continue to hear rumors that there are still a few supermarket operators out there looking at stores and talking to landlords.  Unfortunately many of the names we are hearing are not union buyers and they may not be looking to offer you a job.  It's crucial, now more than ever, that you report anything you see and/or hear about any A&P building to your Union Representative as soon as you hear it or see it.
 
 
Withdrawal Cards
 
Every Pathmark member will automatically be issued a manual Withdrawal Card once their store closes. There is no need to file a request for one. These cards will be automatically mailed to your home address.
 
 
 
 
The uncertainty that the future holds for many of you is not something that your Union takes lightly.  We anticipate that there will be many new battles for our current stores in 2016 and beyond, and hope to staff any perspective actions or programs with our members. So please, make sure to fill out the displaced workers bench form with your information.  Having that information readily available will give us faster access to you when those needs arise. 
 
We hope that you stay connected with your Union well beyond the next few months. We want you to know if there is any way we can help you in the future, whether on the job or off, we are committed to doing so. Do not hesitate to reach out, ever.

Please review the chart below for a full updated list of our Pathmark stores.
 
 
 
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any questions, concerns or issues.
 
 
 
Thank you,
President
UFCW Local 1500
 
 
For all archived Pathmark updates, visit: www.ufcw1500.org/pathmarkupdates
 
 
 
 
 
 

1 comment:

Susan Oneill said...

I work for Pathmark in New Jersey and I was told I will receive four weeks severance pay my question is why is it different in New Jersey then it is in New York if it's the same company I have been a full-time Pathmark employee for the past 40 years

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