Friday, October 30, 2015

Local 1500 Members Raise Funds to Kick Cancer

Last week our Local 1500 charity team bundled up, laced up the cross-trainers and showed our community spirit in two amazing walks: the Leukemia Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk and the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk!

Light the Night Walk: Last year we raised nearly $8,000 for the walk, so we set a goal for 2015 of $10,000. We are so excited to announce that we have exceeded our Local's goal of $10,000! We have raised $17,328.46! And still going!

The 2015 UFCW 1500 Light the Night Team walking in honor of all members & families affected by Leukemia-Lymphoma

Nationally, the UFCW has raised $187,876 (that includes all Local Union's fundraising)! We're nearly at our collective goal of $200,000  thanks to all of your hard work!

Keep the momentum going and finish strong! We're still fundraising through December. You can visit our team page, host a fundraiser, or donate here.

Also be sure to send us your pics from your charity walks!



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
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Update on A&P Bankruptcy Procedures

Yesterday was a very long and very active day in court.

The 12 Local unions and the UFCW International spent the day fighting to keep as many members working as they can, including in the stores being purchased by non union owners.  In an effort to try to protect our members jobs, the UFCW agreed to waive our objections to these sales if the non-union employers would hire as many of the employees that work in those stores as possible
 
As we have said many times before our focus is on preserving members jobs.  With the help of Judge Drain some of the non-union buyers have already agreed to hire a minimum of 25% of their new employees from the pool of displaced A&P members.  
 
Those non-union employers that didn't reach an agreement on this issue, including Best Yet, had their sale approvals adjourned until next week.  It appears that Best Yet may bid on additional stores, which complicates the issue of protecting jobs even further. Judge Drain did however approve the sales to BX And M and Fransula Foods (non Local 1500 shops) after the bidders and union confirmed their modified hiring agreement.

A little closer to home, the objections to the sales of Pathmark stores #624 & #642 had to be withdrawn when it was finally established that the buyers (the Manichevitz family) were a real estate entity and have no desire to operate a supermarket in either of these two locations. 
Our global protections from the 2011 bankruptcy settlement only protect our stores from being sold to non-union supermarket operators, not real estate entities.  Unfortunately for our members it means that the fight to keep these two locations open and operating as Union supermarkets has officially ended. 
 
In addition, last evening the landlord for store #682 in Staten Island bought that lease back from A&P.  Although we do not yet know what the landlords long term plans are for this building we do know that the store will also be closed after the liquidation process has been completed.

The judge extended the 1113(e) order restricting traditional bumping to other stores through the end of 2015.  The 1113(c) was adjourned to next Tuesday along with the outstanding sale motions.
 
As we previously updated, a ruling on severance for the remaining stores has still not been officially made by the bankruptcy judge. However some of the motions in court yesterday point toward a positive result to the severance issue for the remaining stores in the coming days.

Please review the chart below for a full updated list of our Pathmark stores.
Resource Fairs:
 

The next Resource Fair is in NYC on Friday, October 23rd. The Fair is 9:30 am - 6 pm at RWDSU: 370 7th Avenue, New York, NY. 
 
For more information you can visit www.ufcwmemberresources.com.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any questions, concerns or issues.

Next Resource Fair for A&P Members: 10/23 in NYC

On Friday, 10/23, we'll be holding our fourth member resource fair, this time in New York City at RWDSU. 
 
At the fair,  the NY DOL will conduct workshops and training's on resume writing, job search assistance, unemployment FAQs, transferable skills and much more. 

Employers will also be at the fair conducting on site job interviews for all members interested. 

For more information or to RSVP please visit ufcwmemberresources.com.



Thursday, October 15, 2015

Update on Pathmark Bankruptcy Developments

 
 
A ruling on severance for the remaining stores has still not been officially made by the bankruptcy judge. However, we have the following written confirmation from Chris McGarry, Chief Administrative Officer of A&P:
 
1. A & P will pay severance to all laid-off employees unless he or she is offered an equivalent position with substantially similar terms;

2. A & P will pay severance to all employees facing layoff who are currently out on disability or workers' comp.;

We are still working each day to guarantee the same level of severance pay for all Pathmark members affected by store closures and trying to find more buyers for the unpurchased Pathmark stores. We are also meeting with our Union employers every day in an effort to get our members interviews and permanent job opportunities in their existing stores to keep as many of you working as we can.  Please review the chart below for a full updated list of our Pathmark stores.

For the members of Pathmark’s 623 and 663, we have confirmed that your severance will be paid within 30 days of the October 18th closing date.  Severance will be paid out in a lump sum payment. If you have any questions about your level of severance please contact your respective Union Representative: Pathmark # 663: Joe Waddy 516-214-1349, jwaddy@ufcw1500.org. Pathmark # 623: Joe Castelli, 516-214-1360, jcastelli@ufcw1500.org
 
 
Resource Fairs:
 

The next Resource Fair is in NYC on Friday, October 23rd. The Fair is 9:30 am - 6 pm at RWDSU: 370 7th Avenue, New York, NY. 
 
For more information you can visit www.ufcwmemberresources.com.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any questions, concerns or issues.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Light the Night Walk

On Saturday, October 17th, join us and walk in the Leukemia Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk

This year is extra special, we'll be walking in honor of our former President Frank Meehan, who passed earlier this year to Leukemia.

The walk kicks off at our Union Headquarters (425 Merrick Ave. Westbury, NY) at 4:30 PM. We'll have food and you can pick up your team shirt before heading over to Eisenhower Park at 6 pm.

All walkers will receive a t-shirt (pictured on the left) which honors Frank Meehan and his tireless fight to end cancer.

If you cannot attend the walk at Eisenhower Park, you can find a walk near you at lightthenight.org.
  
 You can also join our team or make a donation to our team here.


Upcoming Resource Fairs for A&P Workers

Reminder: Tomorrow is the Suffolk County Resource Fair for UFCW/RWDSU members being displaced due to the A&P bankruptcy.
The Department of Labor will be conducting trainings and workshops on resume writing, job search assistance, unemployment benefits, transferable skills and much more.  Potential employers will also be at the Fair conducting interviews.
  • Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM - IBEW Local 25 - 370 Motor Parkway, Hauppauge, NY 11788.
     
  • NYC: October 23rd @ RWDSU: 9:30 AM - 6 PM

More on Resource Fairs: At our last Resource Fair in Nassau County over 100 members interviewed for new jobs and participated in the NY Department of Labor trainings on resume writing, transferable skills and more.
The New York City date has been booked and will be October 23rd at RWDSU. Please RSVP here.
Continue to visit www.ufcwmemberresources.com for more information.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any questions, concerns or issues and visit our Pathmark Update page for all archived updates.
 

Monday, October 12, 2015

UFCW/RWDSU LETTER TO MEMBERS ABOUT A&P STORES AUCTION ENDING

To our members who work at A&P,

We understand that the A&P stores auction has been an uncertain and stressful period for all of you and your families. Please know that you are not facing this tough time alone. The UFCW International, RWDSU, and your Local Union are completely committed to helping you and your families in every way we can.

As of today, the A&P stores has auction concluded with a number of stores not being sold. We do not know if any further auctions or sales will occur and we are extremely disappointed to say that these unsold stores will most likely close within the coming weeks.

Local Union Representatives will be reaching out to members in affected stores and staff at our offices will be readily available to address any questions or concerns. Please know that our primary focus going forward will be helping you and your family move forward into better jobs and lives.

For stores that were sold, we are actively seeking opportunities to negotiate with new owners so that we can quickly secure jobs and peace of mind for those members and their families, but not all buyers have agreed to meet.

We realize how frustrating and confusing this process can be and have launched a website, www.ufcwmemberresources.com, which will give you quick access to information about resource fairs, resume writing, and other critical services that may be available to you.

To help you and your family, we encourage everyone to attend a local resource fair if they can. A schedule of these fairs can be found at www.ufcwmemberesources.com. Your Union Representative should also have details.

These resource fairs are designed to help you with resume writing, job applications, job search, health care information and obtaining new skills. They also provide attendees with in-depth information about how to sign up for programs that are designed to help them and their families.

To help members find new jobs, we have arranged for local union grocery stores to participate in these events so that they may conduct interviews and accept applications from attendees for job openings that they may have now or in the future.

We know that this is an incredibly difficult time for you and your family. We are here to help. We are a union family and we will stand together to get through this.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your Union Representative or your Local Union.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Final A&P Auction Update

Today was the final day for the public auctions of the remaining A&P stores.  Only 15 stores were auctioned today, 14 were purchased and one was adjourned. Three stores represented by Local 1500 were auctioned and purchased today:  Pathmark 603 was bought by Foodtown. Pathmark 634 (previously reported as purchased by Bogopa Food Bazaar) was out-bid today and bought by a Real Estate Firm called Lee & Associates. Pathmark 611 was unfortunately purchased by Best Yet Markets. All auctioned stores, including the stores auctioned last week, are scheduled to be reviewed and finalized in bankruptcy court on Friday October 16th.

All remaining stores that have yet to be auctioned or those that have been adjourned are still available for sale to any buyer that contacts A&P or their real estate representatives before October 16th. 
A&P & its bankruptcy representatives have the exclusive right to open up the bidding for any store or group of stores at any time in the future in an effort to sell them before they close. 
 
We are still contacting and meeting with Union employers every day in an effort to find buyers for our remaining stores and keep as many of you working as we can.  Please review the chart below for a full updated list of our Pathmark stores.

For the members of Pathmark’s 623 and 663, we have confirmed that your severance will be paid within 30 days of the October 18th closing date.  Severance will be paid out in a lump sum payment. If you have any questions about your level of severance please contact your respective Union Representative: Pathmark # 663: Joe Waddy 516-214-1349, jwaddy@ufcw1500.org. Pathmark # 623: Joe Castelli, 516-214-1360, jcastelli@ufcw1500.org
 
For members in the balance of the stores that go unsold during the auction process, the judge hasn’t formally ruled on your level of severance yet, but we expect that decision to be made some time on or after October 16th.  All of the UFCW Local Unions and our bankruptcy professionals have been pushing the court aggressively to ensure that all members negatively impacted by this process get the same level of severance, regardless of when a store closes.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Union Representative with any questions you may have.
 
Resource Fairs:
 
This week we held our Nassau Resource Fair at our Union Office. Over 100 members attended and met with the Department of Labor, received resume writing tips and were interviewed by perspective employers. The next resource fair is Thursday, October 15th in Suffolk County at IBEW Local 25 in Hauppauge, RSVP hereWe strongly encourage all members to attend the Resource Fairs.
 
There will also be a Fair in New York City.  The New York City date is still tentative, once it is confirmed we will let you know. In the meantime you can visit www.ufcwmemberresources.com for more information.
 
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
 
 
 
 
—IMPORTANT A&P BANKRUPTCY DATES —
 

Friday, September 11th
The Bankruptcy Court will hear UFCW's objections to A&P’s KERP (corporate bonus plan).
Monday, September 28th (tentative)
Bid Deadline: All qualifying bids on the stores are due into the Bankruptcy Court.
The Bankruptcy Court will announce what Tier I stores have agreements to be sold and what stores will be sold at the auction on 10/1 & 10/2.
 
Thursday, October 1st and/or Friday, October 2nd
The auction for the remaining unsold and or closed stores will be held (depending on number of stores, dates could extend).

 
Friday, October 2nd (tentative)
Bidders can file objections to the sale of stores in the Bankruptcy Court. The UFCW can also file objections to bids made on the stores.
 
Friday, October 16th
A hearing will be held regarding the objections to the sales filed to the Bankruptcy Court. At this stage, the UFCW will have a voice during the auction process to make recommendations on bidders. For instance, if two companies place a comparable bid on the same store and one is a union employer, while the other is non-union, the unionized store would have an advantage and they should likely win the bid.
 
A hearing will be held on A&P's filing of a 1113(c).
 
Bid winners will be formally announced.
 
 
—UPCOMING UNION EVENTS —
 
 
Resource Fairs: You may have read that we will be hosting workshops and resource fairs for members displaced by the A&P bankruptcy in our September Newspaper.
 
There will be two other fairs in our area, one in Suffolk County on October 15th at IBEW Local 25 in Hauppauge, RSVP here. There will also be a Fair in New York City.  The New York City date is still tentative, once it is confirmed we will let you know. In the meantime you can visit www.ufcwmemberresources.com for more information.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any questions, concerns or issues
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