Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Key Food in Bay Ridge, Whole Foods donates to Farm Aid, Fairway Donates Turkeys and Wednesday Morning Quick Clicks

11/26/2008: Happy Thanksgiving!

A new Key Food in North Bay Ridge is becoming a reality for eager shoppers.

The Jamaica retail re-development is progressing.

Recently Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman delivered Thanksgiving turkeys to six neighborhood organizations, thanks to Fairway Market’s generous donation of 30 frozen turkeys.

ONE of the city's great est potential retail properties - and a gateway to the Meatpacking District and Chelsea - is being sold.

Exactly what Long Island City needs, more Hotels.

Seafood from Canada has been boycotted by a number of U.S. supermarkets and restaurants in an effort to end Canada's annual seal hunt.
Read more of this story

A Shaw's supermarket in Conn, is set to close in January. The store will re-open as a 'Fresh Market'. Fresh Market continues it's North East expansion.

Whole Foods donated $30,000 to Farm Aid.

And Wal-Mart purchased another old Home Depot.

John Tasini is campaigning for John Edwards as the next Labor Secretary.

SAMS Club is recycling in an enormous way.

The latest edition of the Register is now available online.

And there's a large push to legalize MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) in New York State.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Morning Quick Clicks...

SECAUCUS, NJ - NOVEMBER 20: Miguel Chango hang...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Just days away from Thanksgiving, in one of the premier food-selling periods of the year, the Stop & Shop Supermarket Company said yesterday it was recalling all butternut squash sides that are packaged with the supermarket chain's prepared turkey and ham holiday dinners, in the wake of a recall launched by one of its vendors.

A Thanksgiving meal in NYC will cost more than any other city in the country.

Eric Gioia wants to know why Costco doesn't accept Food Stamps.

Stocks in supermarket operators — including battered names like Whole Foods Market and A&P — rebounded strongly Monday as markets reacted to news of Citigroup's bailout.
Read more of this story

Wal-Mart locations in California will pay consumers $3 at the register when they make a pricing error, according to terms that are part of a settlement over price-scanning errors announced Monday by officials here.
Read more of this story

Whole Foods Market has rolled out a selection of socially responsible holiday food and nonfood gifts that range from handmade Nepalese felted wool ornaments to organic cotton peace scarves.
Read more of this story

Senator Chuck Schumer will exit the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee after two cycles as the chief of the campaign arm, Schumer’s office confirmed Monday afternoon.

The Times reports that Charlie Rangel helped maintain a tax loophole for a drilling company whose top executive donated $1 million to Rangel's eponymous CUNY center. Rangel previously opposed the loophole

Writing in Politico, Tom Suozzi floats an plan to have the federal government take over the local cost of Medicaid.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Stop & Shop sits down sith LI Business News, H. Lee Scott has a successor, King Kullen goes 'greener' & Monday Morning One Liners...

The Stop & Shop Supermarket CompanyImage via Wikipedia


Long Island Business News had a sit down with Stop & Shop district manager Bob Hempson, discussing how the economy is affecting the industry.

Wal-Mart announced that Mike Duke will succeed H. Lee Scott as President and CEO of the company.

The new improved Brooklyn Heights Gristedes has opened.

Here's video and photos of the new shop.

Ahold said it had sales and market-share gains at all three of its U.S. banners in the third quarter, and retail operating margins improved to help the company beat analysts' profit expectations.
Read more of this story

Whole Foods was voted the 'Healthiest Supermarket'

Wal-Mart Stores here yesterday announced its first substantial purchase of wind energy in the U.S., which will supply up to 15% of the company's total energy load in approximately 360 Texas stores and other facilities.
Read more of this story

The U.S. Circuit Court here has rejected a request by Whole Foods Market to have the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust case heard by the full Court of Appeals.
Read more of this story

The cover story of this weeks Long Island Press, encourages readers to shop local by shopping at King Kullen.

King Kullen is getting Kudos for going "Greener".

The UFCW is getting some criticism for it's anti-Wal-Mart stance in Arizona.

UFCW Union members have rejected the latest contract offer from Grain Processing Corp. in Muscatine, Iowa.Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 86D rejected the proposal in a vote on Saturday. About 360 workers have been locked out of the plant since Aug. 22 after the two sides failed to reach an agreement.


The Downtown Express is satisfied with an Amish Market in Downtown Manhattan, though they see the next step as Trader Joe's.

Policy, Development

The SF Gate covers urban farming in major American cities.


Director of Special Projects, Pat Purcell spoke at a press event against Frank Padavan's protesting of minority ballots in the 11th State Senate race.

Hillary Clinton agreed late last week to leave her position as New York's junior senator to take the secretary of state job.

And finally a school on Long Island has been renamed Barack Obama Elementary School

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday quick news briefs...

Wide angle view of BJ's Wholesale club in VA.Image via Wikipedia

The SI Advance covered yesterday's 'Politics of Food Conference'.

Strong food and gasoline sales are more than making up for sluggish general merchandise at BJ’s Wholesale Club, which on Wednesday reported a 24% increase in quarterly profits, sparked in part by falling gasoline prices.
Read more of this story

Democrats accused Sen. Frank Padavan's supporters of launching a massive effort to discard paper ballots cast by minority voters.

The leaders of the 100,000-member Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU, UFCW) yesterday pledged their support for Congressional efforts to save the beleaguered U.S. auto industry.

Workers from the sushi eatery 'Republic' are seeking over $1 million for unpaid overtime.

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Local 1500 Denounces Grocers "Economic Discrimination"; Transports Low Income and Senior Residents to Affordable Supermarket...

Access to quality, affordable food...

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, the state's largest grocery workers Union, is transporting low income residents and seniors from Long Island City to a nearby Pathmark so they can have equal and fair access to purchase food during this Holiday season. The Unions effort is in response to what it calls a growing trend of "economic discrimination" by upscale grocers who do not accept programs such as Women, Infants and Children and Food Stamps.

Download part 1 of the flyer here

Download part 2 of the flyer here

Download the press release here

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Politics of Food

A typical fast food meal in the United States ...Image via Wikipedia
Today at Columbia University, UFCW Local 1500 took part in a conference presented by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer on New York's next policy challenge: "Food Policy" Keynote speakers included Mayor Bloomberg & United Nations General Assembly President H.E. Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, while Pat Purcell of Local 1500 served as a co-moderator for the event. The event filled the auditorium at Alfred Lerner Hall with activists, policy makers and community members.

The overall focus of the conference was to gain insight from participants on solutions to solving the growing problem New Yorkers and people throughout the world are facing, access to healthy affordable food. It asked the question why low income areas are facing riveting diabetes and obesity rates. Questions were raised asking, How can supermarkets be retained and improved? Speakers outlined the recent "decay" of the Supermarket industry throughout New York City and stressed the need for more Supermarkets throughout the city.

It seems that government is finally understanding the big picture. Bodega's that inhabit every street corner throughout the five boroughs fail to provide affordable food, not even healthy food. Gourmet Grocery stores provide healthy foods, but at prices no working class person can afford. The lack of supermarkets force people to rely on shopping at Bodega's, 99 cent stores, Fast-Food restaurants and Drug Stores like CVS or Rite-Aid that have poor quality and limited selections of food. This brings us to where we are today:
  • Diabetes now affects over 700,000 people in New York City
  • 1.1 Million New Yorkers are obese
  • 2 Million are overweight
  • 3 Million New Yorkers live in neighborhoods with a "high need for grocery stores and supermarkets"
That's why Local 1500 launched its Building Blocks Campaign. Our plan to bring Good Food, Good Jobs which will bring Good Health to the supermarket starved communities. Please read our principles, and please comment, we'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions.

The Politicker also had a write up on the conference here.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Target expands grocery, Plastic Bag NYC battle, Tuesday One Liners...

SuperTarget logo, 2006-present.Image via Wikipedia

Target Corp. in Minnesota yesterday said it plans to “aggressively test” an expanded food offering in its discount stores despite a $1 billion reduction in capital spending for 2009.

Price Chopper here has agreed to buy two P&C supermarkets from Penn Traffic Co., Syracuse, N.Y., both companies said. Terms were not disclosed.

The building service workers union launched a Web site to protest former NBA basketball star Magic Johnson's use of non-union workers at One Hanson Place, a Brooklyn condominium owned by his investment company.

The New York Times looks at the new battle over plastic bags in NYC.

Ontario's 100,000 farm workers have won the right to join a union.

Hotel workers in Canada walk out.

A&P store manager Peter Sito was honored at a Nov. 14 event by the Rockland County Association for the Learning Disabled with its Employer of the Year Award, for providing opportunities to individuals with learning and other developmental disabilities

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Morning One Liners...

Senator Charles Schumer by David ShankboneImage via Wikipedia

Retailers like BJ's Wholesale Club & Wal-Mart are set to thrive in tough economic times.

Here's another investment blog saying BJ's will benefit in this economy.

Stop & Shop here is donating 1,000 turkeys to the Food Bank of New Jersey.
Read more of this story asks what will President Elect Barack Obama change with Wal-Mart.

A woman caught shoplifting at a Wal-Mart in South Carolina was 'body slammed' by Loss Prevention.

A hearing at city hall last week on street vendors "got heated" as NY Times writes.

Here's a blog on the new Stop & Shop in Ossing.

Albertsons is closing two grocery stores in the Las Vegas Valley and will place about 120 employees from the stores at other locations, a union executive said Friday.


Rudy Giuliani said Sunday he will consider running for governor of New York and isn't ruling out a second attempt at the U.S. presidency.

NY Times asks "Suppose if Senator Clinton got a cabinet post"

Liz Benjamin of the Daily News says Nydia Velazquez is first in line to fill her Senate seat.

And if you're interested in attending Obama's inauguration, Chuck Schumer has established an 'Internet lottery for tickets'
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Wal-Mart being sued for mind control?, Stop & Shop adds 2 more stores, Morning News

Billboard Protests Wal-Mart near school, on US...Image by Brave New Films via Flickr

A man in Canada is suing Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the Mounties) for alleged mind control, satanism and witchcraft. The man claims he was "subject to invasive brain computer interface technology, research, experiments, field studies and surgery." He is seeking $2 billion in damages.

Unless your family eats less, Thanksgiving dinner will cost an average 5.6 percent more than last year's, a farmers' and ranchers' trade group said Thursday

UFCW Blog: Employee Free Choice Act is the most Democratic process.

Duane Reade sales are up.

More on Stop & Shop adding 2 Grand Unions in Mass.

Wal-Mart Stores is optimistic about its prospects for the holiday season, based on financial results for the third quarter ended Oct. 31, Lee Scott, president and chief executive officer, told investors yesterday.
Read more of this story

Ninety-three percent of consumers say that fish labeled "organic should be raised while consuming a 100% organic diet, just like other certified organic poultry and livestock, according to a recent survey from Consumers Union, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group and publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.
Read more of this story

Willets Point project is a done deal.

Quinn takes on Bloomberg's plans.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tesco expansion, A&P Stock falls, Willets Point & More One Liners...

Willets Point Rally - Pro Development SideImage via Wikipedia

Tesco is slowing its U.S. expansion plans for Neighborhood Market, Simon Uwins, the company’s chief marketing officer, told SN yesterday.
Read more of this story

Stock in A&P here, on a free-fall since the summer, tumbled by more than 26% on Wednesday to close at its lowest levels in more than five years.
Read more of this story

Internet grocer FreshDirect here on Wednesday said it launched “Thanksgiving Central,” an online destination where shoppers can purchase all of the components of a Thanksgiving dinner with a single click, or a prepared heat-and-serve Thanksgiving meal at prices as low as $20 per person.
Read more of this story

Long Island is barely avoiding a recession.

Steve Levy is getting criticism for not being assertive in the recent murder of a 16 year old.

Two of the leading opponents of the Willets Point redevelopment project in Queens came out in favor of the plan on Wednesday, after they reached a critical deal with the city over the number of homes for low-income families that will be built at the site.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported a 10 percent increase in third-quarter profit Thursday but trimmed its profit outlook because of the troubled global economy and the renewed strength of the dollar.

10 Things you didn't know about Trader Joe's.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wal-Mart under triple scrutiny in Canada, Wednesday One Liners...

What? We Can't Check Into The Hague Motel Unti...Image by Old Shoe Woman via Flickr

The Brooklyn Eagle examines three new supermarkets opening in Brooklyn.

Wal-Mart in Canada is under triple scrutiny. (Press Release UFCW Canada)

Labor has also opposed Wal-Mart's bank bid in Canada.
Stop & Shop will be taking over two 'Grand Unions' in Massachusetts.

Supermarket News picked up the story too.

UFCW held a rally in front of a PriceRite in Providence in which over 100 people attended.

A private equity firm is buying a 17 percent stake in Whole Foods Market, a much-needed vote of confidence for a chain that is being battered by increased competition and a weak economy.

Tops Markets here this week reopened a renovated store in Olean, N.Y., marking the first remodel under the chain’s new owners.
Read more of this story

Soil tests of private land at Willet's Point revealed widespread contamination of the Queens industrial zone - a finding that could boost Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to redevelop the area.

The cost of health care premiums in New York has gone up seven times faster than salaries since 2000, an advocacy group says - but the higher payments often produced thinner coverage.

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company is moving its Food for Friends program into high gear, seeking to raise more than $1 million for more than 300 local hunger relief organizations throughout the Northeast. Stop & Shop’s charitable program kicked off on Oct. 31 and will run through Dec. 4

Big Box
After reading Wal-Mart's Press Release "Wal-Mart backs Main Street" Al Norman asks, "After having ravaged Main Street merchants for the past 46 years, how could Wal-Mart "back" Main Street by any stretch of the imagination?"

David Orgel, Editor in Chief of Supermarket News writes 'How to compete with a re-energized Wal-Mart'

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s biggest retailer, and Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. have been named to a list of the largest companies most criticized for their impacts on the environment, health and communities.

Reuters analyzes what the 3rd quarter earning results could mean from Target and Wal-Mart.

Circuit City has filed for Bankruptcy.

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market — the U.S. division of United Kingdom-based Tesco — was scheduled to open its 100th U.S. store today in Fullerton, Calif., just one year after launching its U.S. operation.
Read more of this story


Newsday says both Democrats & Republicans have high expectations of the newly elected Brian Foley.

Steven Greenhouse of the NY Times tells what labor expects of Obama.

Another editorial on what this election means for Labor.

Schumer is pleading to Obama to help the city overcome the economic crisis.

Ten of the Republican party's 30 state senators re-elected last week are at retirement age or past, a problem the Republicans must face in 2010.
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Willets Point Statement...



November 11th, 2008

New York State’s Largest Grocery Workers Union Calls on New York City Council to Support Willets Point Redevelopment; Vote To Be Held 11/13/2008

The following statement was released today by President Bruce W. Both, President of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500:

“While UFCW Local 1500 has long supported the development of Willets Point, we have always respected the leadership shown by Queens Councilmember Hiram Monserrate to ensure that the project includes affordable housing and a plan to relocate current tenants.

As we close in on this Thursdays vote on the re-zoning of Willets Point by the New York City Council, UFCW Local 1500 wants to strongly encourage the Council to pass the re-zoning plan. All parties have worked admirably to bring about the best possible resolution. However, we get to a moment where everyone must understand the benefits of passing this redevelopment plan and the serious consequences if the Council fails to act.

This plan will bring thousands of construction jobs that pay outstanding wages and benefits to the New York City economy. It will also include thousands of post construction jobs that will also provide living wages, affordable health care and many other economic benefits. It will also include a Supermarket, which is so important as the City realizes it is facing a crisis of Supermarket closings. That combined with affordable housing makes this a project that must go forward.

Failure to act on a project that includes thousands of jobs with important wage and benefit provisions at a time while New York City faces a serious financial crisis will add to that crisis.

There has been leadership, fair negotiations and the direct involvement of the New York City labor movement in this process. Now is the time to bring this project to a successful conclusion with a positive vote by the New York City Council on Willets Point redevelopment.”

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 is based out of Queens Village and represents 23,000 grocery workers in the Metropolitan New York area including but not limited to Pathmark, Stop and Shop, Shop Rite, D’agastinos, Fairway and Gristedes.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Morning Briefs...

Costco Wholesale CorporationImage via Wikipedia

FutureScripts senior vice president Paul N. Urick, R.Ph., announced today that the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1776 and its Participating Employers Health and Welfare Fund have agreed to and implemented a three-year agreement to offer its members pharmacy coverage through FutureScripts. UFCW Local 1776's new contract with FutureScripts provides pharmacy benefits to more than 17,000 union members and their families in southeastern Pennsylvania.

A&P here yesterday said it has converted two more stores in the Philadelphia area to its price-impact Pathmark format.

Fresh Grocer here is planning to expand its “urban fresh” format to Wilmington, Del., with a grand opening Nov. 15. The 45,000-square-foot store, formerly a Great Value location (also owned by Fresh Grocer), will be the first Fresh Grocer location outside Pennsylvania.

Costco Wholesale yesterday posted negative comparable-store sales for October — the first time the retailer has ever done so, according to some observers — as retailers overall had their worth single month in decades.

Wegmans Food Markets has lowered prices on hundreds of products — including its private labels — for an extended period of time to help cash-strapped consumers through the economic storm, the company said. The new prices cover the bakery, meat, produce, deli and grocery departments, and could save shoppers $40 to $60 a month.

Bloomberg announces a plastic bag tax.

Must Read:
With Barack Obama's election as president and Democrats controlling Congress, retailers and industry trade groups are bracing for a fight on Capitol Hill next year against legislation that would make it easier to unionize workers.

The American economy lost another 240,000 jobs in October, the government reported Friday morning, the 10th consecutive monthly decline and a clear signal that an accelerating slowdown is assailing households and businesses. The unemployment rate climbed to 6.5 percent , the highest level since 1994 and up from 6.1 percent the month before.

Obama called 9 world leaders yesterday.
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Morning Briefs...

US Senator Barack Obama campaigning in New Ham...Image via Wikipedia
King Kullen Grocery Co., Inc. and its subsidiary, Wild by Nature, have joined with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help protect the environment.

Organized labor sees a historic opportunity with Tuesday's election and is counting on the incoming Obama administration to back its agenda in what promises to be a landmark battle with business.

CNBC discusses the impact Obama will have on the Labor Industry.

A&P here yesterday said it has converted two more stores in the Philadelphia area to its price-impact Pathmark format.
Read more of this story

Whole Foods Market here said Wednesday that identical-store sales were down slightly in the fourth quarter and have continued a downward spiral in the first weeks of its new fiscal year, as economic pressures continued to batter the once high-flying natural foods retailer.
Read more of this story

And Jim Gennaro, running against a 30 year incumbent Frank Padavan is trailing by
723 votes and not conceding just yet.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008


November 05, 2008



WASHINGTON The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) endorsed President-elect Barack Obama’s candidacy in February because his run for the White House was based on renewing hope for the middle class—on restoring the American Dream for America’s workers. UFCW members nationwide were excited and energized by Barack Obama’s message. And that excitement and energy unleashed an unprecedented nationwide mobilization and outreach effort that reached millions of working families across the country to help secure Obama’s historic victory.

“We pounded the pavement, worked the phones and went door-to-door,” said 22-year-old Samantha Miskevich, Fish Department manager at an Acme Supermarket in Limerick, Penn., and member of UFCW Local Union 1776. “I’ve never worked so hard or talked to so many people. This election was about saving the middle class.”

The UFCW’s efforts were comprehensive, focusing not only on traditional battleground states, but also in expanding the electoral map in key states, including Virginia and Colorado, where UFCW members turned out in record numbers to change the direction of our country.

“This election was about getting America back on track,” said Teresa Ransone, a UFCW Local Union 400 member and Kroger supermarket cake decorator in Roanoke, Va. “What inspired me was Senator Obama’s position on affordable education and health care,” continued Ms. Ransone, who put in extra hours volunteering to phone bank and canvass for Obama in southwestern Virginia. “He proved time and again why he was the best candidate.”

UFCW local unions across the country were critical to countering misinformation, informing voters about the issues that matter to working families and ensuring that successful get-out-the-vote operations were in place.

While the hard fought election is now over, the UFCW efforts to rebuild our ailing economy and strengthen our middle class have just begun.

The UFCW looks forward to working closely with the Obama Administration and Congress to restore good middle class jobs to our communities.

“We know change cannot come overnight,” said Ransone. “But working people are ready to support President Obama and our other elected leaders to put economic policies in place that work for the middle class. Electing Senator Obama was the first step, but there’s more work to be done. We’re ready and committed.”

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. Paid for by United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Active Ballot Club, which is responsible for some content on this page. This page is not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
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Election Results

Yesterday, we not only made history nationally, but we made history right here in New York. Last night Democrats took control of the Republican controlled NYS Senate for the first time in 40 years. Aiding the flip were wins by Brian Foley in Long Island & Joe Addabbo in Queens, taking out Republican incumbents. The Foley race wasn't that close, being that 2-1 Long Islanders voted for Obama.

Even upstate, Congressional Democrats easily held off republicans with wins by John Hall & Nita Lowey to name a few...

So what does this all mean? Only time will tell, but the Daily News thinks the Yankees will win another World Series now that Senator Obama has been elected President.
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