Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday Morning One Liners

Morning Read

Grocery store operator Kroger Co. announced that it has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with its Nashville-based union

Wal-Mart Stores here will unveil a new corporate logo this week, according to a report in the Memphis Business Journal.
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Super 88, a six-unit chain of Asian supermarkets here, last week agreed to pay $175,000 in back pay to current and former employees after the state accused the company of failing to pay overtime and violating minimum-wage rules, according to reports. The company also agreed to pay the state $25,000.
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A&P here yesterday said it would convert eight SuperFresh stores in the Philadelphia market to its new Pathmark Save-A-Center banner, and would also convert the 16 Pathmarks it operates in the area to the price-impact format.
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The Huffington Post asks if "Locally grown food has gone Corporate?"

A plastic bag recycling law set to take effect in New York City next month may be relegated to the trash pile. Proponents of the legislation, which was introduced and approved by the City Council, say it will be gutted by another recycling bill that was approved by Albany lawmakers earlier this week, much to the surprise of council members.

Anheuser-Busch has agreed to stop producing caffeinated Tilt and Bud Extra, and cease selling all alcoholic energy drinks nationwide, after an investigation revealed the company was illegally marketing these drinks to young people, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced here yesterday.
Read more of this story

Citizens Financial Group Inc. plans to add 57 new in-store branches in Stop & Shop supermarkets in New York through next year.


Acorn, Pratt target Coney Island plan The affordable housing group NY Acorn is teaming up with the Pratt Center for Community Development to demand that the Bloomberg administration alter its redevelopment plans for Coney Island, to include more affordable housing and add measures to prevent gentrification

City Is Pushing for H.I.V. Tests for All in Bronx The New York City health department plans to announce on Thursday an ambitious three-year effort to give an H.I.V. test to every adult living in the Bronx, which has a far higher death rate from AIDS than any other borough.

New York state ranked 10th worst in the nation by the percentage of women living in poverty, according to a Thursday report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research. The report concluded that women in New York state are now worse off economically than they were in 1989, according to a new report issued Thursday.

The Colorado Supreme Court rejected the legal challenges against the titles of a pair of ballot measures proposed by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7.

Community Board 7 has threatened to nix Mayor Bloomberg's Willets Point redevelopment plan Monday night unless the city consents to giving the Queens Borough Board a binding vote on the proposal.

The only members of Congress from New York that disclosed what local projects they’re trying to fund were Peter King and Vito Fossella.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday Morning One Liners...

Morning blurbs

Fresh Direct is offering groceries and produce at a discount to the entire South Bronx.

Rite Aid Corp. has agreed to pay New Jersey up to $650,000 to settle a lawsuit charging that dozens of its stores in the state sold expired infant formula, baby food, and over-the-counter medications.

Unions plan to rally in favor of the contentious $3 billion Willets Point redevelopment on Thursday at City Hall, as the Bloomberg administration moves closer to getting approval for the project. Last week, the city reached land-purchase agreements with three businesses, but several landowners still oppose the project that will develop housing, retail business, a hotel and convention center on 62 acres in northeast Queens. The public review process has begun, and Community Board 7 held a public meeting last week.

The prospect that Barack Obama will face labor troubles at the Democratic National Convention in Denver this August is increasing.

A&P here yesterday released a summary of year-ago financial results from Pathmark Stores, adjusted to conform with A&P’s financial calendar and to conform with A&P accounting practices.
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A new three-year labor contract has been approved covering more than 4,300 workers at Rite Aid Corp. drug stores in the northern two-thirds of California.
One Blog thinks RWDSU Local 338 President John Durso is calling for government run supermarkets.

Speaking of incentives....Central Grocers here will receive $3.9 million in incentives from Illinois to relocate its distribution center from here to Joliet, Ill.
Read more of this story

Ralphs Supermarkets in California, a division of Kroger Co., Cincinnati, is poised to lower prices at all of its Southern California stores tomorrow, according to an ad in a regional newspaper.
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Online grocer FreshDirect here has selected AirClic, Trevose, Pa., to facilitate the tracking of its grocery delivery orders from its Long Island City warehouse facility to customers' doorsteps.
Read more of this story


Monday, June 23, 2008

Morning Read
David Wild, who was said to be heading up the development of Wal-Mart’s small-format Marketside concept, is leaving to join British retailer Halfords Group as chief executive officer, Halfords said Friday.
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The King Kullen Supermarket chain has plans to build a superstore in the Tuckahoe Hills area within the next few years.

A new study has found that New York City needs at least seven new dry docks like that one that Ikea turned into a parking lot in Red Hook. Experts say it could cost about $1 billion to replace the 730-foot-long former graving dock. The Port of New York has 18 dry docks, including four larger graving docks. The study estimated the port would lose $50 million to $150 million in revenue over the next five years because it does not have enough docks. Opponents of the Ikea, which opened last week, want the city to take back its dock because they say it would be less costly than building a new one.

A&P Press Release; MONTVALE, N.J.-- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc. (A&P, NYSE Symbol: GAP) has published on its website, unaudited prior year quarterly information for Pathmark Stores Inc, acquired in December 2007, in response to shareholder inquiries concerning the effect of the acquisition on Pathmarks prior year results including summarization of Pathmarks results to conform to A&Ps quarterly reporting calendar, the impact of purchase accounting adjustments and classifications of certain non operating items consistent with A&P practices.

Supervalu Inc. hired the CEO of online grocer Fresh Direct to become its new chief marketing officer.

A permanent fresh food market will open on South Street this summer, as part of the long-term redevelopment plans for Pier 17 and the Seaport. The 16-stall market is the first of General Growth Properties' plans, which call for a 495-foot tower, hotels and condos, retail buildings, and the relocation of the landmark-protected Tin Building. A community center and a public plaza are also in the works. Read the entire story here.

The soaring price of food has complicated efforts by Whole Foods, the nation's largest natural and organic grocery store, to move toward provide "more sustainable" products, a company official said on Friday.

Here's more on how Whole Foods & Wal-Mart are coping with high food costs.

Ed Ott, the executive director of the New York City Central Labor Council, an umbrella group for the city’s labor unions, has an unexpected and unnerving warning for New York’s more than one million union members.

There already are vending machines outside most so-called big-box stores that dispense soda cans. But similar machines may soon be collecting them. A bill that cleared the state Senate last week and is now before the Assembly for a vote will, if it passes, require large retail stores such Costco, Sam's Club, BJ's Wholesale Club and Wal-Mart to install reverse vending machines, or RVMs.


Francis H. Powers, a retired Wall Street executive who was recently selected by Republican leaders on Staten Island as their candidate for the Congressional seat being vacated by Representative Vito J. Fossella, died on Saturday at his home on Staten Island.

When the numbers were finally and officially tallied a little over a week ago, Anthony Como had won a special election for a City Council seat by a mere 41 votes. Mr. Como’s razor-thin victory in a four-candidate race is not only a triumph for him, but also a victory that brings bragging rights for the Queens County Republican Party’s leadership.

Rep. Anthony Weiner has sworn off special interest money for his mayoral campaign next year - but he's raking it in for his congressional reelection bid this fall, federal records show.

Brooklyn community activists are putting up candidates for the borough's Democratic county committee.

Community Board 2 is set to vote on the Hunts Point new mega-development.

Hillary Clinton made her first major public appearance in New York yesterday.

In addition to Obama and McCain, Clinton will speak at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday Morning One Liners...

Ikea opens in Red Hook [Post] and [Brooklyn Eagle] and [Brooklyn Paper]

Mark McEwan, a noted restaurateur and television chef, is planning to open a gourmet grocery store in Toronto next year Read more of this story

City health officials here yesterday confirmed six new cases of salmonella linked to contaminated tomatoes.
Read more of this story

Waldbaums pharmacists represented by Local 338 of the United Food and Commercial Workers union here on Wednesday said they have filed a claim against A&P with the National Labor Relations Board, charging the retailer with engaging in unfair labor practices during negotiations for a new contract.
Read more of this story

Walter D’Agostino signed on with the rival supermarket chain to revitalize its ailing stores, six years after walking away from the family business.

Kroger reaches tentative contract with Indianapolis-area workers
MSN Money - USA
Kroger Co. said it has a tentative deal on a new contract with the United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 700 in Indianapolis. ...

City health officials on Wednesday confirmed six new cases of salmonella linked to a nationwide outbreak of infected tomatoes, bringing the total number of New York City cases to seven.

Albor Ruiz writes on the looming threat of Hunger in NYC.

New York City is set to start fining chain restaurants that don't post calorie counts on their menus by next month.

A federal judge on Wednesday provisionally approved the first part of proposed settlements totaling $3.9 million in two closely watched wage-violation lawsuits brought against one of Manhattan's leading restaurant owners. The judge, Paul A. Crotty, of Federal District Court in Manhattan, approved a $588,000 settlement in a lawsuit against the Redeye Grill, a Midtown restaurant, and indicated that he would soon approve a second settlement of more than $3 million against other restaurants owned by the Fireman Hospitality Group, which owns Redeye. Those restaurants are Cafe Fiorello, Bond 45, Brooklyn Diner, Shelly's and Trattoria Dell'Arte. Waiters and other workers charged that Fireman's restaurants often violated wage and hour laws by erasing hours from employees' time cards, not paying the minimum wage and overtime, giving managers part of the tips and docking employees' paychecks if their customers walked out without paying. Five workers are also threatening to bring a new lawsuit charging sexual harassment and racial discrimination.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday Morning One Liners...

Big Box & New York

Awaiting a Big Blue Box and an Altered World [New York Times]
Monica Byrne, one of the owners of Tini, a bar on Van Brunt Street, also was generally supportive of the store’s presence. "If it was a Wal-Mart, I’d be protesting," she said. "This could be a really good thing."

City and Labor Leaders Reach Deal on Plan to Develop Willets Point [New York Times]
The city also agreed to look favorably upon developers who propose job-intensive businesses at Willets Point that would pay at least $10 an hour. At the same time, the city said it would discourage "suburban models of big-box stores," a reference to Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

Big retailers may follow Ikea to Red Hook [Daily News (N.Y.)]
Discount giant Wal-Mart tops the list of heavy hitters that have looked at development sites in the gritty-glam nabe, where a container port and a cruise-ship terminal co-exist with Civil War-era warehouse buildings, public housing projects and artists' studios.

Consumers have a stronger preference for labels that tout specific ecological benefits than they do for the USDA's organic label, according to branding and marketing agency BBMG's recently released Conscious Consumer Report.
Read more of this story

Stop & Shop here is participating in a program that reduces its energy usage at 415 stores -- all of its more than 360 stores, as well as some at sister Ahold division Giant Food, Landover, Md. -- during times of peak energy demand such as are experienced during the summer months.
Read more of this story

Wal-Mart's stores in Hawaii will be part of a pilot solar project outfitting 22 Wal-Mart stores,

he Fresh Market continues to expand north...

Right to Work

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted today to oppose the right-to-work ballot initiative, which would ask voters to amend the state constitution to say that union membership and the payment of dues could not be mandated.


Over 600,000 in city may qualify for Food Stamps.

The city hopes to put as many as 600,000 New Yorkers on food stamps this year by using Medicaid data to find eligible families who aren't getting the aid.


The City Council will stop offering bottled water.

And the NY Sun interviews Obama's Economic Policy advisor.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Morning One Liners...

Pathmark is trying to return to it's 'Low Cost' roots.

A new study shows that unionized workers in the lowest wage brackets in New York state earn 16% more than non-union workers with similar education.

California's attorney general has filed suit against four manufacturers, including Whole Foods Market Inc., accusing them of failing to label soap products that contain a potentially cancer-causing chemical.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 said today that it is withdrawing two of four proposed ballot initiatives, part of an effort to get business interests to pull their right-to-work measure. "We want to show that we're open to negotiation with the business community," said Manny Gonzales, a spokesman for UFCW Local 7, which represents food and health care workers and barbers in the Rocky Mountain region.

Montauk and Shinnecock fishermen will meet for the second time with representatives of the United Food and Commercial Workers union this afternoon at the Top of the Wharf restaurant in Hampton Bays.

Unionized workers at Tops Markets have overwhelmingly approved a three-year contract. United Food and Commercial Workers Local One said its members voted 97 percent in favor of the deal. Utica-based Local One represents about 9,000 workers at Tops stores in New York state and Pennsylvania.

Penn Traffic has reached a tentative contract agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers Local One, the union representing roughly two-thirds of its workforce, the retailer here said.

John Mackey, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market here, said he has some regrets about last year’s Wild Oats acquisition, a merger of the two largest so-called “super-natural” retailers that triggered an antitrust investigation and an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Read more of this story

Specialty grocery chain The Fresh Market here will make its debut in New England next year as part of a new waterfront shopping district under construction in Hingham, Mass.

A major retail expansion is under way in Brooklyn, especially in Red Hook and downtown. The emergence of more retail stores comes in response to rising local incomes, growing demand for quality goods, and a national consolidation of retail into urban areas to avoid high energy costs, experts say....Ikea is leading this new retail push.

Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said his office intends to take legal action against drug chains Rite Aid and CVS after a state investigation revealed their stores sold expired products including milk, eggs, medicines and baby formula.
Read more of this story

Two statewide drug store chains have been selling expired food, medicine and baby formula, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.Cuomo said the items were found at 142 CVS and 112 Rite Aid pharmacies in New York. Many stores sold milk and eggs that had expired, and some sold medications that were more than a year past their expiration dates.

Just over 3 million city residents, or 38% of the population, had difficulty affording food for themselves and their families last year, according to a report from the city's Food Bank.

Labor union officials and some liberal activists were seething Tuesday over Barack Obama's choice of centrist economist Jason Furman as the top economic advisor for the campaign. The critics say Furman, who was appointed to the post Monday, has overstated the potential benefits of globalization, Social Security private accounts and the low prices offered by Wal-Mart -- considered a corporate pariah by the labor movement.

The Queens County Board of Elections commissioner, Anthony Como, will represent the 30th district in Queens in the City Council after winning a special election to replace Council Member Dennis Gallagher, who resigned earlier this year after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of sexual abuse.

Union endorses Hiram Monserrate over Sabini in Queens Senate race

City Councilman Hiram Monserrate picked up another endorsement Wednesday in his bid to unseat state Sen. John Sabini. The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council tossed its support behind Monserrate

Anthony Weiner wants more foreign models in America.

And it looks like Babe Ruth's house has finally been found.

Friday, June 6, 2008

How much for Milk? & Friday 11 AM One Liners...

A survey of 50 sellers showed that 86% overcharged for milk, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

Here's a more interactive report on the Milk study by Eyewitness News.

& Here's AM New York's take.

Representatives of Local 359 of the United Food and Commercial Workers union visited Montauk on Thursday to urge commercial fishermen facing $5-per-gallon fuel prices and ever-more-restrictive regulations, to join. The meeting has generated considerable interest.

Balducci's is welcoming the Chilean ambassador on Saturday in MD.

(Bloomberg) -- Royal Ahold NV, the owner of Albert Heijn and Stop & Shop supermarkets, said first-quarter profit gained 8.9 percent and raised its full-year operating margin target after selling a Dutch chain.

Councilman Hiram Monserrate officially announced his second bid for state Sen. John Sabini’s seat on Monday, surrounded by local supporters....

While the Bloomberg administration pushes its Willets Point redevelopment plan by attempting to acquire businesses in the gritty industrial zone, it also has begun touting efforts to retrain workers who may soon lose their jobs.

Politics (Courtesy of the NY Observer)

Republicans created a web site called ClintonsforMcCain.

In another push against the 100-years-in-Iraq criticisms to come, John McCain just put out a new TV ad in which he says, "I hate war, and I know how terrible its costs are."

Mike Allen reports that the spot will get a "significant buy" in swing states, and also that the campaign plans to release more details later today.

Enjoy your hot weekend...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Obama backs UFCW in Tesco fight....Thursday One Liners

A UFCW spokesman said the union was likely to have "quite a few conversations" with Mr Obama over the coming months about continuing to apply pressure on Tesco.

US union has Barack Obama aid in Tesco fight

An American union has stepped up its campaign against Tesco, releasing a dossier that includes the backing of Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee.

Barack Obama [left] wrote to Tim Mason, Fresh & Easy's chief executive
Barack Obama wrote to Tim Mason [right],
Fresh & Easy's chief executive

The 1.3m-member United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) yesterday launched a 46-page report, The Two Faces of Tesco, to highlight alleged differences in pay, conditions and union recognition between Tesco employees in the UK and the US.

  • In his letter, Mr Obama said: "Supermarkets play a critical role in America's cities and neighbourhoods as employers, purchasers of local products and anchors for economic development. A recent Occidental College report raises concerns about Tesco's record in these areas."

    His Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, also wrote to Sir Terry Leahy, Tesco's chief executive, last November, pointing out that Tesco's non-recognition of union members in the US was all the stranger given its close relationship with USDAW, the UK shopworkers' union.

    Tesco rebuffed the tone and content of the report. "The UFCW do not reflect the views of Fresh & Easy staff who are overwhelmingly in favour of the pay and benefits they receive," Tesco said in a statement. It added: "We strongly believe that union membership is a matter of individual choice and if our people want to join a union then they can and will. "

  • Supermarket News covered it today as well.
  • The UFCW report on Tesco has received a lot of press in England.
  • A&P announced it settled in cash totaling $45.7 million, the 4,657,378 Series A Warrants, issued in connection with the acquisition of Pathmark.
  • Trader Joe's & Target were lauded for business ethics.
  • Balducci's is celebrating South America.
  • Andy Stern, the president of the Service Employees International Union, went into its convention under heavy fire from one of its largest locals, but he emerged stronger — overwhelmingly re-elected for another four years and with his power consolidated.
  • Michael Barbaro writes on Wal-Mart today.
  • And The Triborough Bridge will soon be the "RFK Bridge" named after the late Robert Kennedy.
  • Tuesday, June 3, 2008

    Tuesday Morning One Liners...

    D'Agostino Supermarkets President and Chief Operating Officer Nicholas D'Agostino III was recently named chairman of the Food Industry Alliance of New York State here.
    Read more of this story

    Aldi here on Monday opened the doors to a store in East Syracuse, N.Y., that showcases the chain’s new marketing and environmental approaches, a report said yesterday.
    Read more of this story

    A State Supreme Court judge in Suffolk Monday invalidated a controversial worker status law that required Suffolk County's 17,000 licensed contractors to prove their employees are not undocumented immigrants.

    Talk Bronx, has covered the loss of the supermarket throughout NYC.

    Here's more on the UAW withdrawing at Foxwoods.

    Dayton, Ohio: As part of its “Eat Local” promotion, Dorothy Lane Market has launched a monthly local food “challenge” and gift card giveaway.
    Read more of this story

    Politics and What not...

    John Tasini comments on SEIU's "Call Centers"

    New York State's excise tax on cigarettes becomes the highest in the nation today, when it increases by $1.25 a pack - to $2.75....City Smokers Prepare for New State Tax

    The Republican presence in the City Council could be whittled down to two members as voters go to the polls today in Queens to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Council Member Dennis Gallagher

    Starrett City residents were assured their rents would stay 'affordable' yesterday

    Monday, June 2, 2008

    Making Food Deserts Bloom in NY, A Community Food Security Agenda for NYS

    On Friday June 6, from 10 to 1:15 PM, Hunger Action will also host Making Food Deserts Bloom in NY, A Community Food Security Agenda for NYS. It will take place in the Senate Minority Conference Room #315 in the State Capitol in Albany.

    The conference ties into the work of the Governor’s Food Policy Council, which was established last year to better coordinate work among state agencies to increase access to affordable, nutritional food for all New Yorkers while supporting a sustainable agriculture system for our state (e.g., issues such as food processing, transportation, support for family farms).

    The Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture, Patrick Hooker, is Chair of the Food Policy Council. He will participate in a roundtable discussion at the conference along with Julie Suarez, Director of Public Policy, NY Farm Bureau; Fern Gale Estrow, a nutritionist who is chair of the Food Systems Network NYC; and, Prof.

    Tom Forster, a policy advisor to the national Community Food Security Coalition.

    The conference will also feature workshops on innovative approaches to bringing fruits and vegetables into low-income communities and strategies to improve the nutritional impact of federal nutrition programs.

    Many state agencies and advocacy organizations are interested in how we can bring more supermarkets and other sources of fruits and vegetables into low-income communities. Too often such neighborhoods only have fast food outlets, forcing residents to travel long distances to obtain more nutritious food.

    The conference is free but there is limited space, so pre-registration is encouraged. You can contact Mark Dunlea at Hunger Action Network of NYS for more information. 275 State St., Albany NY 12210. 518 434-7371 xt 1#,,

    The conference is co-sponsored by Just Food, NYS Assembly Task Force on Food Farm and Nutrition Policy, Food Systems Network NYC, Honest Weight Food Co-op, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 1500, NYS Small Scale Food Processing Association

    Monday Morning One Liners

    Veteran labor leaders representing 100,000 workers in Colorado have joined forces to fight right-to-work ballot measure.

    The American Lung Association recently presented Wegmans Food Markets here with the Lung Champion Award in recognition of its decision to halt the sale of tobacco products.
    Read more of this story

    Nearly 40 workers at Foxwoods Resort Casino's race book have voted against joining the United Auto Workers union.

    The smallest Whole Foods store in the company’s development pipeline -- only 16,790 square feet -- will apparently replace one of the two remaining Bell Markets stores in San Francisco.
    Read more of this story

    Albor Ruiz of the NY Daily News writes 'The plan to save our dying supermarkets'.

    The first location of Pathmark’s new “price impact” format opened Friday in Irvington, N.J.

    The Senate will likely re-vote on the full 2007 Farm Bill this week, Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin's office told congressional newspaper The Hill on Friday.
    Read more of this story

    Council Member Simcha Felder will challenge state Senator Kevin Parker for his seat.

    The SEIU is voting to have members use '24-hour call centers', rather than handle grievances with a union delegate one on one.

    In the past year, 22,000 New Yorkers who work on Wall Street have lost their jobs, according to a Crain’s estimate. And far more blood-letting is to come.