Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Morning One Liners...Teixeria joins movement for Employee Free Choice, Local 7 updates...

 "Now more than ever, we need a strong union movement to protect our jobs, our pensions, and our future. The Employee Free Choice Act simply guarantees a level playing field for all workers. It makes sure everyone plays by the same rules. That’s as important in the workplace as it is in baseball."
-  In a joint statement from Jimmy Rollins, Mark Teixeira, and 13 other MLB Players.

UFCW members rally at Fred Myer after the company called the police on union representatives.

UFCW Local 7
Supermarket News: More than a week after contract negotiations broke down again, union grocery employees of Safeway here are demanding that the United Food and Commercial Workers sanction a strike. But it was still unclear Thursday whether an OK was forthcoming.

The Colorado Gazette has more.

The Fresh Market on opening it's first Connecticut store, and first New York store (Troy) "...[We] hope the opening is a sign of continued growth in the Northeast."

Aldi announced two new store openings in Florida.

Current and former Wal-Mart employees in Ohio and 29 other states can now apply for a share of an $85 million lawsuit...Read more about the judges approval of the $85 million lawsuit.

Costco has announced they will accept food stamps nationwide. 

Politics, Health Care, Elsewhere....

The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, on Thursday unveiled an $1.055 trillion health care package that would provide insurance to up to 36 million people by broadly expanding Medicaid, the state-federal insurance program for the poor, and by offering subsidies to moderate-income Americans to buy insurance either from private carriers or a new government-run plan...The New York Times has more.

Newsday covers the Nassau County Executive debate between Suozzi and Mangano.

Living without heat in the Bronx, tenants put up signs outside of building asking for help.

More than 200 food vendors held a spirited noon rally on the steps of City Hall. They were protesting police harassment, a charge the NYPD denies.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday Morning One Liners...Wal-Mart voted Greenest by consumers?

AFL-CIOImage via Wikipedia
AFL-CIO President Richard Tumpka to Bankers: "You work for us now."

In a surprising study, consumer see Clorox and Wal-Mart as the 'Greenest Companies'.

Fairway and Columbia Athletics are teaming up

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Inc. (A&P) has promoted Carol DiNicolantonio to the position of VP of pharmacy, A&P..

Washington Square News looks at Fruit Vendors.

Workers at Ford voted against cuts yesterday, which would have been their third labor concession in the last two years. 

Politics, Politics

The Times reviews last nights final Mayoral debate between Thompson and Bloomberg.

The Daily News writes about the praise Andrew Cuomo is receiving from the White House.

Census Data: A Republican senator’s proposal to count only United States citizens when reapportioning Congress would cost California five seats and New York and Illinois one each, according to an independent analysis of census data released Tuesday. Texas, which is projected to gain three seats after the 2010 census, would get only one.

By 2050, the world's population will be 9.1 billion....Requiring a 70% increase in global food production, the New York Times asks, how will we feed them?
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Update on yesterday's FRESH Hearing at the New York City Council

Energy-dense foods, such as fast food (picture...Image via Wikipedia
By: Mo Kinberg, Food Policy Coordinator, UFCW Local 1500

On Monday October 26th, the New York City Council, Zoning and Franchises Committee held the first of two hearings to review the City's proposed Food Retail Expansion to support Health program. UFCW Local 1500, along with a coalition of community and faith based organizations spoke on a panel in support of the program, on the condition that good food and good job standards are attached to any financial incentives stores receive through the program. Before hearing public testimony, Speaker Christine Quinn joined the committee to say a few words on how important this program is to her in the pursuit of addressing health disparities in NYC.  She acknowledged that the proposal is not perfect and that she is committed to working with all stakeholder groups including labor and business to continue improve the program before it is vote don by the full Council. 

In her public testimony, Lisa Sharon-Harper, Executive Director of NY Faith and Justice reminded the Council of a previous incentive program passed in 1984, the Industrial Commercial Abatement Program.  Pointing out that although this program was passed with the best of intentions, to create job in low-income areas in hindsight it spurred the proliferation of fast food restaurants and poverty level wage jobs.  Pat Purcell, Assistant to the President of Local 1500, told the story of the good, the bad and the ugly in NYC City's supermarket industry, urging the council to ensure bad employers like Whole Foods and Amish Markets are not eligible for public subsidies.   Kerry Bernbach of New York City Coalition Against Hunger spoke on the need to consider high-rates of poverty in relationship to obesity and diabetes in low-income and communities. 

In her closing Lisa Sharon-Harper quoted
Cardinal Roger Mahony who echoed Ghandi when he said that: “Any society is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest.” She called on this Council not to be remembered for their good intentions but "by the effect of your policies on the last, the least, and the littlest in our city."

On Monday Nov. 16h the full Land Use Committee will hold a second hearing on F.R.E.S.H. We encourage and hope for all of you to attend!

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In the midst of one of the worst recessions in American history, community groups, local political leaders and academics will consider the role of grocery stores as both retailers and employers.

Recent research suggests that the retail sector will generate thousands of new jobs as the economy recovers…

What does that mean for the Upper East Side?

How will these jobs impact our local economy?

What should we expect from grocers-as-employers?

Hear from experts on the economy, community leaders, and grocery workers as they participate in a roundtable discussion of the Upper East Side’s future in retail.

We hope you’ll join us on Wednesday, October 28, for a roundtable discussion of the issues faced by grocery store employees and grocers-as-employers. You’ll hear from major local employers, grocery store workers, policy experts, and community leaders, as they discuss the ways in which successful grocery businesses can also be community-leading employers. An open discussion will follow the roundtable.

Check out the flier or print the flier here:

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Rockaway gets a Stop & Shop, Tuesday Morning One Liners...

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company

Mayor Bloomberg broke ground on a $23 Million, 55,000 Square-Foot, Stop and Shop at the Rockaway Peninsula Saturday.  The Stop & Shop will bring union jobs and a long needed supermarket to the under-served community.

The state of Tennessee is considering the sale of wine in Grocery stores.

Meanwhile, two Giant Eagle stores in Pittsburgh were awarded licenses to sell beer.

Winn-Dixie Stores (Florida) yesterday said it posted a loss of $8.1 million for the 12-week first fiscal quarter, as smaller average purchases dragged same-store sales down 1.5%. In the year-ago first quarter, the company posted a loss of $2.3 million. 

Wal-Mart announced their projected total cap ex for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2010, to range from $12.5 to $13.1 billion, up from about $11.5 billion in fiscal year 2009.

Moody's Investors Service here last week said it expects revenue growth in the supermarket industry "will remain close to flat or slightly negative" into early 2010.

About 20,000 Fry's and Safeway workers in Arizona are still without a contract.

Fresh & Easy will expand into Fresno (California).

Fresh Direct is teaming up with Robin Hood, to fight poverty in NYC.

NJ: Mini-Marts and Bodega's, filling the void of no supermarkets in Atlantic City.

The re-developing Brooklyn Navy Yard received $1 million to develop a Green Manufacturing Center. A facility expected to employ 300 full-time workers.

Tomorrow Local 1500 is co-sponsoring a Summit on Good Food and Good Jobs in New York's Upper East Side all are invited and encouraged to attend the round table discussion.

UFCW Local 876 has developed the first UFCW Hearing benefits program.

1.5 Million people left New York between 2000 and 2008, the largest population loss in the nation.


The New York Times has endorsed Michael Bloomberg for Mayor.

The NY Post reports Andrew Cuomo will run for Governor.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

UFCW Local 7, Colorado Contract Updates,

SAN ANSELMO, CA - APRIL 30:  The Safeway logo ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
UFCW Local 7's contract negotiations have been an enormous struggle, going on for several months now, here's the latest news today...Also be sure to support your fellow brothers and sisters in Colorado by heading to their Facebook page and pledging your solidarity!

King Soopers told its unionized employees Thursday it will likely lock them out should grocery workers represented by the same union strike Safeway stores.

More and more reports of a strike looming in Colorado.

Behind the latest breakdown in talks between workers and Safeway.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

We're Back, Thursday Afternoon One Liners; A&P CEO Departs, Is Target Organic?...

Greetings readers, our blog has been down the past week, we're posting a few stories we missed during that time and today's stories, thanks for your patience!

"These jobs are not going to allow Bronx families to get themselves out of poverty. "

-Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., on a giveaway deal to redevelop the Kingsbridge Armory without a living wage agreement, in the New York Times.

A&P CEO Eric Claus departs, posts wider 2Q loss... [Wall Street Journal

When asked why, no reasons were given for his departure according to NJBiz...The stock plummeted 14%.
A&P also named Andreas  Guldin chief strategy offer
Ahold posted 3Q gains...
The City Planning Commission approved a controversial plan on Monday to turn the Kingsbridge Armory, a soaring red-brick castle in the northwest Bronx, into a mall that will include a large department store, dozens of shops and a movie theater.

The Daily News has more on the criticisms of the plan, and the long battle that has ensued. 
NY Times: Contractors cheating minority workers out of wages during recession.

Target was accused of Organic Food Fraud....Target also announced Monday they'll give every customer a 5-cent discount for every re-usable bag used to pack their purchases.

Bringing Big Box to the Big City, NY Times.

300 union members protest a new Wal-Mart in New Jersey yesterday.

There is little progress in the Safeway, Soopers contract negotiations in Colorado...The Denver Post says 'Talks have collapsed'

Wal-Mart Stores  has agreed to pay $11 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by Iowa workers charging the retailer forced workers to skip breaks and work off the clock, according to the Associated Press.
The Fresh Market opened it's doors in Westport, CT. this week.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 in Oregon has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Fred Meyer, after a store manager in Hillsboro, Ore., called local police to stop union representatives from talking to store employees.
Study: Half of NYC is without Paid Sick Days

Last Week: Thousands of Puerto Rican union members gathered Thursday in a financial district outside San Juan to protest the government’s plan to lay off more than 20,000 workers in a territory with a jobless rate of 15 percent.
College costs keep rising.
The Teamsters make jobs number one priority, back Bloomberg for Mayor.  
Andrew Cuomo's popularity continues to surge.

A report see's increases in Long Island house sales.

The NY Post says some people are 'Fizzy over Soda Tax'

The Nassau County Legislature voted along party lines Monday to approve the $2.6-billion county budget for 2010 proposed by County Executive Thomas Suozzi.
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Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Morning One Liners...Tesco loses over $200 million, UFCW Local 7 updates, Aldi still looking for land

“Since Harry Truman was president, Democrats have fought to make it more affordable to live a healthy life in America,” Mr. Reid said. “Every day, we come closer to achieving that goal.”
-Harry Reid, of Nevada, Democratic majority leader, in today's New York Times "Health Care Bill Gets Green Light in Cost Analysis"

An amendment that would allow for businesses to incentivize healthy lifestyles in the style of Safeway’s voluntary “Healthy Measures” program was approved by an 18-4 vote by the Senate Finance Committee as part of a health care reform bill.  A spokesman for Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), who co-sponsored the bill, referred to it as “the Safeway Amendment” according to published reports.

Wal-Mart de Mexico net profits up 18%.

A Bi-Low/Food Lion merger would test the FTC an analyst said yesterday, exceeding a 35% market share in 9 markets.

After their latest offer was rejected two days ago, Kroger and Safeway are considering new negotiations in Denver, UFCW Local 7 and the two companies have not met face to face since early September.

More and more reports of Fresh Direct trucks blocking bike lanes throughout NYC.

Newsday updates Nassau County's "Lighthouse Project"

Wegman's is offering a new 'full service restaurant' in a new 132,000 sqft., 24-hour Pennsylvania store.  The store has also opened a dispute regarding their sale of liquor and alcohol.

Tesco, the parent company of the West Coast's "Fresh & Easy" stores, continues to struggle and will lose about $239 million this year. 

President of Local 338, John Durso writes an Op-Ed in Long Island Business News on the need for a public option.

Aldi, who announced they were coming to Queens, is apparently still looking for land in Queens.

The Working Families Blog covers the Stella D'oro rally at City Hall.

The Daily News has more on the closing.

Dan Cantor, Director of the WFP is interviewed.

Blog: Sweatshop Conditions in U.S. cities.

A recent mailer by BJ's Wholesale Club had 'white powder all over it'. 

Ex-Homeless youth in NYC tell their stories on TV (WPIX CH.11) this weekend.

The Fresh Market, who plans to break ground next week upstate [Latham], now gets the shopping center named after them...

And Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Brooklyn BJ's? Aldi denied a store for not fixing a street, Fresh Market will open upstate, Tuesday Morning Read...

ALDIImage via Wikipedia
"I asked the boss for permission to go to the hospital. She said, 'It's fine, go - but you don't have a job anymore.'"

-Adela Valdez, mother of 4, fired for catching a cold, in Sunday's New York Times.

Change to Win's campaign on CVS advances in South New Jersey.

The Fresh Market, an eagerly expanding gourmet grocery store, has been salivating at the thought of opening more stores in the North East. They'll break ground on their first New York store upstate, in Latham on October 13.  They'll be opening a store in Connecticut next week.

Aldi was refused permission to open a UK store for "failed negotiations to agree how much money Aldi should pay towards local roads improvement." Thankfully there are no damaged roads in Queens, so we won't encounter this problem when they open their first NY store next year.

UFCW Local 7 update: Strike may not change shopping habits. [Denver Post]
Grocery Workers wrapping up contract vote in Colorado. [AP]

Development Update: Joe Sitt of Thor Equities pitches a new BJ's site for Brooklyn.

SN has named Stop & Shop and Giant of Landover the winners of the 2009 Retail Excellence Award, sponsored by Kraft Foods. The two Ahold-owned chains have reasserted their dominance as value leaders in their markets, and remain standouts in such areas as marketing, technology and health and wellness.

Meanwhile, Stop & Shop unvieled a new custom publication called "Small Victories" geared towards Mom's.

D'Agostino's will launch a radio campaign, it's first campaign on the radio in 10-years.

The Teamsters endorsed Mike Bloomberg for Mayor.

The Hotel Trades Council has reached a deal with Steve Wynn, one less roadblock he'll face on his attempt to open an enormous "Racino" at the Aqueduct.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Paid Sick Days in NYC, Friday Morning One Liners..

Guillermo Barrera, plans to tell hundreds at a downtown rally on Thursday how he lost his job at a Brooklyn restaurant when he told his boss he needed to go to the hospital.

"She told me I was fired and she never wanted to see me again and I should never return," Barrera, 36, told the Daily News.

Barrera, 36, who worked as a cook at Tina's Place on Flushing Ave. in Bushwick, will be marching across the Brooklyn Bridge today to champion city legislation mandating employers provide workers with paid sick leave.
Read More in the Daily News.

Hundreds of members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 152  voted yesterday on a new four-year contract with Acme supermarkets.

UFCW Local 8 began to picket Fresh & Easy locations throughout California. Supermarket News has more.

Rockaways get a supermarket they've dreamed of, a new Stop & Shop will begin development by winter of this year.

UFCW Unveiled a study that showed Ohio spends roughly $68.5 million a year providing Wal-Mart employees with Medicaid, food stamps and 'welfare'.  You can read the entire report in PDF here.

Must Read: Washington Post: What Makes a Health Plan a 'Cadillac'?

The Villager writes on the possibilities of a 6th Avenue Trader Joe's.

A new report concludes that the NYS Liquor Authority is "fundamentally broken".

Marching for Paid Sick Days in NYC.  The Daily News has more on Paid Sick Days gaining momentum. asks if Grocery stocks will continue to rise.

UFCW Local 7 Contract update: King Soopers workers will vote on a contract today, while Safeway workers have already voted down their latest contract proposal.

A San Fransisco mayoral candidate writes an open letter to John Mackey of Whole Foods, as they plan to open a new store in the San Fran area, quick excerpt from the letter:
Also, our Board of Supervisors has taken a stand in support of the Employee Free Choice Act pending in Congress.

In Noe Valley, these are important issues given the closure of Real Food for over six years because of an illegal attempt to deny employees the right to union representation.

I believe these issues speak to our values and concerns and I would hope that you might consider alternative views as you seek to expand your work in our great City.

Read the entire letter here at the San Francisco Gate.

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