Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Morning One-Liners: Wal-Mart OK's Meeting with Chicago's Labor

Wal-Mart has OK'd a meeting to sit down with labor (UFCW, Chicago Federation of Labor)  to push for more Chicago expansion.[Chicago Sun-Times
Ramirez noted that Wal-Mart has been bombarding the airwaves with commercials in recent days boasting about how well its employees are treated.
"If they do all this great stuff, sit down and put it in writing. You haven't exactly lived up to the letter of the law in other places," Ramirez said.
"They've got the largest class-action lawsuit in American history for systematically paying women less than they pay men for doing the exact same thing. The [alarm] bells should be going off at City Hall saying, 'We don't want to bring in predatory employers.' I don't hear a commercial saying that."
New York
Crain's Poll: "Would you Shop at a NYC Walmart?" Check out what other New Yorkers are saying.

WSJ Blog: NYC Wal-Mart, Speaker Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg Disagree.

CNN: Wal-Mart's Bad PR Comes at a Bad Time...

King Kullen donates $100,000 of Groceries to Island Harvest (Long Island).

UFCW President Joe Hansen released a statement denouncing Arizona’s controversial new immigration law: "Arizona's new immigration law is unworkable, unconstitutional and it undermines our nation's rich immigrant history and heritage. It is a recipe for racial profiling and a marked retreat from the values and ideals that have made America strong."

Kroger: Wal-Mart's  aggressive new price campaign has it behaving more like a promotional supermarket and less like an everyday discounter, at least according to the estimation of one competitor. [Supermarket News]

Kelly Ripa has been recruited as the spokesperson for A&P's "Price Project", the company's new pricing program.

Greenpeace has released their annual Supermarket Seafood Sustainability chart [pdf], Target and Wegmans came in at 1 and 2, while A&P rated at 7... Supermarket News has more.

UFCW Local 1: Cooperstown Great American Gobbled Up by Golub
Neil Golub is at it again.  He may be destroying more good jobs, this time in Cooperstown NY.  The Golub Corporation has purchased the Great American store in Cooperstown NY, the birth of baseball.  This may be a strike out for Great American employees.  Will Neil Golub offer the 50 employees at Great American a position with his store after he takes over in three weeks?  If history repeats itself the answer is, no....

Pat Purcell, Assistant to the President, UFCW Local 1500, joined the Neil Cavuto Show to discuss Wal-Mart in NYC, Wednesday.  Check out the video.

Thousands of workers and union members angry over lost jobs and the taxpayer-funded bailout of banks marched on Wall Street Thursday. [Crain's NY]

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday Morning One-Liners: Wal-Mart's Discrimination Suit, Brooklyn Plans

Wal-Mart & Brooklyn

NY1: A Wal-Mart Battle Grows in Brooklyn
With speculation mounting that Wal-Mart may try and open a store in Brooklyn, opponents of the big box retailer are already fighting back. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report. (video)

Supermarket News: ShopRite, Wal-Mart Said to Eye Brooklyn...
Both this week were said to be separately preparing to build new store sites in Brooklyn, though neither retailer had made an official announcement.

Brooklyn Eagle: Wal-Mart Coming to East NY?
“There’s no argument that Walmart will shut down small businesses,” said Pat Purcell, assistant to the President of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 1500. It has been seen many times over that the low wages and vast array of products Walmart offers make this outcome inevitable. “Small businesses are killed,” he said.

WSJ: Wal-Mart a Target, Even Just Shopping

More @ WPIX11,

Wal-Mart Gender Suit
SN Wal-Mart Mulling Supreme Appeal
A U.S. appeals court here has ruled against Wal-Mart Stores in a lawsuit filed by former female employees who claim the retailer discriminated against women in awarding pay and promotions, but Wal-Mart said it is considering appealing the case to the Supreme Court.

NY Times: Steven Greenhouse, Wal-Mart Gender Case Divides Court
In a closely watched case, a sharply divided federal appeals court on Monday ruled 6-5 that a sex discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart could proceed as a class action for more than a million women. The suit is the biggest employment discrimination case in the nation’s history.

Forbes: Wal-Mart faces largest sex-discrimination suit in U.S. History.

Is this the employer we want in our city?

Shaw's gets support
Progressive Grocer: Unionized employees at Acme Markets in Philadelphia and New Jersey, and Shoppers Food & Drug in Maryland and Virginia are throwing their support behind the 300 workers at the Shaw’s warehouse in Methuen, Mass., who have been on strike since early March.

More @ Supermarket News

Head's up Connecticut, the Food Bazaar is expanding to CT
The New York-based chain with 16 stores specializing in serving inner-city customers, is slated to host a grand opening of its first Connecticut location here next Thursday, May 6.

LoHud: ShopRite Gets Permit to Build a City Center in White Plains
Following several months of review, the city handed a building permit to ShopRite, paving the way for the largest downtown supermarket to open at the City Center mall this fall.

Brooklyn Navy Yard
Admiral's Row to Mowed Down for ShopRite

NY Post: Brooklyn Navy Yard breaking walls to open new ShopRite

NY Times: In Wake of Immigration Law, Calls for an Economic Boycott of Arizona
A spreading call for an economic boycott of Arizona after its adoption of a tough immigration law that opponents consider racially discriminatory worried business leaders on Monday and angered the governor. 

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Morning One-Liners: Wal-Mart's NYC Battle Continues...

"They'll have the battle of their lives. Walmart exploits workers ... and we want no part of that."

- Councilman Charles Barron, in today's Daily News. (via WFP)

Huffington Post, Al Norman
: Wal-Mart Net Sales Worst Ever, But Urban Warfare Continues in Chicago and New York City

It's been a very disappointing sales year at Wal-Mart. The giant retailer just announced its worst net sales increase in history---just a 1% increase over 2009 levels. Despite these tepid numbers---or perhaps because of them---Wal-Mart's drive to expand in urban markets like Chicago and New York City are intensifying...

This week Crain's New York Business reports that Wal-Mart still thinks New York City is worth the effort. Wal-Mart is reportedly the surreptitious tenant in a massive Brooklyn project known as the Gateway II. The landowner, Related Cos., says no leases have been signed---but often in such cases Wal-Mart orders the developer not to disclose the retailer's interest. Related has already survived the toughest part of the process: Gateway II passed through the city's land-use process last summer. By hiding off-site, Wal-Mart can now reveal its interest, unbruised by the permitting process.

Crain's: Walmart Targets NY Sites, Hopes to Bypass Unions as it Targets BKLYN's Gateway
The 630,000-square-foot Gateway II shopping center off Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn is among the sites Walmart is eyeing in a renewed push to build its first New York City store, sources familiar with the situation say.

Huffington Post: Wal-Mart Scouts Brooklyn &  NY Locations

NY Daily News: Wal-Mart Eyes Brooklyn

SN: A&P said on Friday, as part of its new Lower Price Project, it would lower prices on over 400 generic prescription drugs to just $3.99, for up to a 30-day supply at A&P, SuperFresh, Waldbaum’s and Pathmark stores.

UFCW Local 135 is helping the homeless. “On a daily basis, our members’ jobs involve getting fresh and nourishing food to customers in supermarkets and elsewhere,” said Mickey Kasparian, president of UFCW Local 135 and president of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, in a statement. “But as good citizens it’s also our responsibility to get food to those who need it most and can’t afford it.”

Local 791 Urges SuperValu to Return to the Table
The Local has urged its members to call Craig Herkert, the chief executive officer of Supervalu, Friday to demand a resolution. 

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday News at Noon: Shaw's Workers Need Your Support

From UFCW: Shaw's Workers Need Your Support!   Call Supervalu CEO Craig Herkert today at (952) 828-4000 - tell him that the 300 workers Supervalu’s subsidiary Shaw’s forced out on strike in Methuen, Mass. almost two months ago deserve to be treated fairly and that Supervalu should sit down at the bargaining table for a quick and fair resolution.

Stop and Shop gets key approvals for move to Hyde Park: [Poughkeepsie Journal]
Plans for Stop & Stop to move from its current store at Saint Andrews Road and Route 9 to the Hyde Park Mall can now begin in earnest...What will happen to the current Stop & Shop building is unclear....

Pro's Ranch Cuts 300 Workers in Immigration Probe: [Supermarket News]
The supermarket has released more than 300 employees at its six Phoenix-area stores — 20% of its workforce there — because they were found to be working without proper work authorization documentation.
The audits are part of a national process that began nationally last July and that have been conducted at more than 1,600 businesses across the U.S....

Related: How Immigration Crackdowns Backfire.

RWDSU/UFCW Local 220 Authorizes Strike: [Press Release]

"We want to reach an agreement with Mott's," said RWDSU Representative Ron Duncan. "We stand ready to bargain but the company has taken this position that we should just shut up and accept whatever they are offering. It's really disgraceful that they want to take away from their employees at a time when the company is doing well." 
Over 300 members of Local 220 voted to authorize a strike if no agreement can be reached with Mott's for workers at the company's Williamson, NY facility. The vote, which was 250-5, gives authorization for the union to call a strike if the company continues to engage in unfair labor practices and refuses to bargain.

Pepsi has rolled out Recycling Kiosks titled, "Dream Machine".

U.S. Organic Product Sales Reach $26.6B in 2009.

Racked looks inside the highly anticipated Chelsea Trader Joe's.

Victory for Canadian Farmworkers: Quebec's labour relations commission has cut out language in the province's labour code that had blocked seasonal farm workers from unionizing.

Downtown Express: Battery Park City may get a new Greenmarket...

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Shaw's Workers Need Your Support!

Image via Wikipedia

United Food and Commercial Workers
  • Call Supervalu CEO Craig Herkert today at (952) 828-4000
Tell him that workers in Methuen deserve to be treated fairly and that Supervalu should sit down at the bargaining table for a quick and fair resolution.
Shaw’s, a grocery chain owned by parent company Supervalu, is in a labor dispute with UFCW Local 791 members at its Perishable Distribution Center in Methuen, Massachusetts.

Since March 7, our 300 Shaw’s Methuen brothers and sisters have been forced into the streets on strike in order to protect their job security and their families’ affordable health care.

As the strike nears the two-month mark, Shaw’s has terminated the workers’ health benefits, ignoring the fact that many of these workers have young children with serious medical conditions, and some workers have spouses with serious issues such as risky advanced pregnancy. 

Further, the company is advertising for and hiring permanent striker replacements, something Supervalu has never done before.

There is no financial need for Shaw’s to make these callous demands and to subject our brothers and sisters, many of whom have decades of service to the company, to such inhuman treatment by leaving them in the streets without health coverage.

Our Methuen brothers and sisters need our support.  We will not let Shaw’s starve them into submission. We cannot let big employers think that they can bully UFCW members at the bargaining table — not in Massachusetts and not any town.

What you can do:

  • Call Supervalu CEO Craig Herkert today at (952) 828-4000
Tell him that workers in Methuen deserve to be treated fairly and that Supervalu should sit down at the bargaining table for a quick and fair resolution.

  • Write a letter to the company's leaders and let them know UFCW members stick together and how they are treating our brothers and sisters isn't right!

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Morning One Liners...Shaw's Strike Nearly 2-Months Old, King Kullen Island Park...

Hyde Park, NY: Park Plaza looks for a new supermarket and it won't be Stop & Shop
"A little competition is great for everybody," she said. "We want the competition to keep the prices down." Right now, Stop & Shop is "the only game in town,"

 No name has been given for the supermarket, which would go into a new building to be built in a vacant space of about five acres at the rear of the 15-acre site. No deal has been signed yet, DiBrizzi said.
"We're in negotiation with a couple different supermarkets," he said.
It won't be Stop & Shop, which already plans to move its Hyde Park store across Route 9 to the Hyde Park Mall, where it would build a new store.
A new King Kullen supermarket and retail shopping center may soon occupy a mostly vacant parcel of land in Island Park. The site's owner, John Vitale of Barnum Land Development LLC, has filed an application with the Hempstead town board requesting that the area be rezoned as a business district.

A new 11,000 sqft gourmet/upscale supermarket will open on the base at  Toren—a new 240-unit condo development on the Flatbush Avenue corridor—in downtown Brooklyn. [Crain's]

Shaw's Labor Dispute Grows: The labor dispute between Shaw's Supermarkets and workers at the company's Methuen distribution center spread to Gloucester Wednesday evening, with around 30 picketers protesting at the Railroad Avenue and Eastern Avenue stores.

Eagle Tribune: Shaw's Strike Nearly 2-Months Long... "No talks are scheduled," Peter Derouen, spokesman for the 300 employees who walked off their jobs at the plant, said yesterday. "We are trying to get the company back to discuss a new contract.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday Morning Quick One Liners...32BJ

Under the test program, "drinks will be shipped to a Costco business center, where a third-party logistics company will pick them up and deliver them to a warehouse. Then, when 7-Eleven stores need replenishment, the drinks will ship to the stores with other products as well."
In the typical DSD model, Coke ships drinks from its bottling facility to an adjacent warehouse, where they await shipment to a distribution center before being shipped to individual stores

Fairway Market is waiting to sign a lease for the 240 East 86th Street storefront until it can reach a deal with the MTA and Department of Transportation for an expanded loading zone. Read more @ DNAinfo

Supermarket News: A&P here on Tuesday said it has named Mark Kramer as its new senior vice president of operations.

32BJ has reached a deal,The owners of more than 3,200 apartment buildings in New York City reached an agreement on a new labor contract with the union that represents about 30,000 doormen, porters, janitors and building superintendents, averting a strike that was due to begin at 7 a.m. Wednesday. read more at New York Times

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Morning One Liners: Fresh Direct Won't Cross a 32BJ Picket Line, D'Agostino's New Ad Campaign

Progressive Grocer:
Tackling Obesity; A Blueprint for Sucess. 
For the first time, government, the food and beverage industry, parents, and other stakeholders  share the same goal in tackling Obesity.

Stop & Shop Promotes their Green ways, gives away a Hybrid:
As a way to mark Earth Day this week, Stop & Shop is drawing attention to such company-wide green initiatives as the incorporation of sustainable product on shelves, the implementation of energy-efficient lighting in stores and a policy of encouraging customers to use reusable bags. Additionally, this month, the Ahold USA division plans to give away two Honda Insight Hybrids.

The NY Times looks at D'Agostino's new witty, creative advertising campaign: "Managers Gone Wild!"
The specials, on groceries, meat, poultry, produce and baked goods, are peddled with one-liners not often found in the stodgy world of supermarket marketing.
“Somebody slap me, please,” Bob Fonti, the meat manager, says about a sale on Shady Brook ground turkey.
The produce manager, John Vasapoli, declares: “I’ve gone mad! Mad, I tell you!” in pricing broccoli.
You can check out the TV spot here.

Crain's checks out a Park Slope Food Coop that is 'running up more profits and members than it knows what to do with'

New York Times looks at buying in bulk in NYC a look at Costco in Manhattan: 30 Pack of Charmin, but Where to Store It?
When Costco opened its first Manhattan outpost last November, in a soaring East 116th Street shopping complex with river views, management did not know precisely who or what to expect: Would customers stream in from East Harlem and Washington Heights? Or would the aisles be flooded with Upper West Siders stocking up on San Pellegrino? How much demand would there be for kosher meat? Costcos nationwide sell some 57 million rolls of Charmin per month: would people living in cramped apartments go for those 30-roll packages?

Retailwire: Costco's Manhattan Project (Free Subscription Required)

The Journal News: Fairway's Grand Opening in Pelham Manor

The Westchester Magazine checks out Fairway's Grand Opening in Pelham Manor

The Bronx News has great photos of the grand opening

32BJ Contract

"We are ready to walk out if we need to. We all have families to support and rents to pay."
- Santiago Gonzalez, a doorman on the upper East Side and SEIU 32BJ strike captain, in today's Daily News.

Fresh Direct Won't Cross 32BJ Picket Line: Fresh Direct will refuse to enter buildings whose doormen are on strike. The unionized drivers of Local 348S want to show solidarity with building workers, and will make anyone who orders groceries to those buildings meet them on the street and carry the boxes themselves. Union leader Eduardo Cordero said “We will not be putting our members in any kind of danger or any situation that would provoke trouble... At the same time, the company still has to provide a service."

NY Times: If Doormen Strike, Residents must pick up the Slack

Business Week: NY Doorman Strike May Trash Men of Luxury Residents

NY Post: Gillibrand can't crack the 50% barrier

Voters in Washington could see an initiative this year to break up the state government monopoly on liquor sales [NY Times]

And finally, Danny Glover a great friend to the UFCW and Labor, was arrested in a food protest.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Morning One Liners: Trader Joe's makes a promise,

United Food and Commercial WorkersImage via Wikipedia
The interior of the largest Whole Foods in the...Image via Wikipedia

Whole Foods Market, said it is actively seeking store sites in London after several years of inactivity in the United Kingdom.[Supermarket News]

Ahold on Thursday said it would base its non-perishable and fresh merchandising functions in its Carlisle, Pa., offices as part of an ongoing reorganization first announced last November.

UFCW Local 371 protested a ShopRite opening yesterday.
“This is a fight to protect jobs, family and community,” read literature handed out by members of Local 371, United Food & Commercial Workers Union.  The new ShopRite workers will make about $5 an hour less than their union counterparts at the Stop & Shop across the street, said Brian Petronella, president of Local 371. Union workers also have a pension plan, Petronella said.

Trader Joe's has promised to completely stock shelves with sustainable seafood by 2012.

Stop & Shop set to open former Shaw's stores. [Supermarket News]

More: Middletown Press: Stop & Shop opens today at the site of a former Shaw's

A&P to offer free re-usable bags:
Through April 30, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. and Zavers are teaming up for Earth Month promotion in which participating customers can receive a free reusable Elizabeth Haub bag by redeeming a paperless coupon linked directly to their shopper loyalty cards.

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review looks at what Stern's retirement will do to the labor movement.

The Patriot Ledger: The BJ's in Quincy, Mass. debacle continues...

NY Times: Wall-Street must recover before NYC can overcome recession.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday One Liners...

Official photo of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (...Image via Wikipedia

Andy Stern, President of the SEIU has announced he will step down.

NY Times: Andy Stern, the nation’s most politically influential union president, will announce plans this week to resign, several union officials said, in a move that surprised and shook organized labor and Democratic political circles.

The UFCW proudly announces its support for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative legislation introduced Monday by New York legislators Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez (D-NY). [Press Release]

Senator Gillibrand Press Release: To help three million New Yorkers living in so-called “food desert” neighborhoods that have little or no access to fresh, nutritious foods, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) were joined today by New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Councilwoman Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan), UFCW Local 1500 President Bruce Both, RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum, and PolicyLink Founder & CEO Angela Glover Blackwell to launch the Healthy Food Financing Initiative

Gov. Deval Patrick is calling on Shaw’s management and employees to cut a deal to end a 6-week-old strike by 300 workers at the chain’s Methuen distribution facility.
“I strongly urge both parties to continue to bargain and resolve their differences at the bargaining table quickly and fairly,” Patrick wrote in a letter to both sides. “Doing so will allow Shaw’s to focus on running its supermarkets while allowing the striking employees to return to good-paying jobs at Shaw’s.” Read more here.

Connecticut: A Shaw's closes, will transform into a Stop & Shop.

Hartford Business: A former Shaw's Supermarket in Southington Plaza Shopping Center will reopen as a Shop Rite once renovations are complete.  Wakefern Food Corp. is leasing the 60,000 square feet at 750 Queen St. that Shaw's closed and vacated about two years ago. Stop & Shop on Friday will open five new stores that it acquired from Shaw's.
The stores are in Darien, East Hampton, New Fairfield, Newington and Vernon. The stores underwent minor renovations earlier this month.

In recent weeks, Starbucks has closed 19 licensed stores at Stop & Shop and Giant locations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires.

BJ's Wholesale Club has run into a series of problems in Quincy, Mass. On Tuesday, the company and town met to discuss a resolution.

NY Times: 32BJ Contract: With a strike deadline looming, contract negotiations between the owners of apartment buildings and the union that represents doormen and other workers have been complicated by very different views on whether the city’s economy has turned a corner.

How to eat well on a Food Stamp Diet:
With job growth and the economy still only sputtering along, a record number of Americans have turned to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the formal name for federal food stamp program.
At the end of last year, roughly 1 in 8 Americans received food stamps, the highest rate ever.
The UFCW is launching a new legislative and political website, voteufcw.orgThe site was designed with UFCW members and locals in mind--we’ve stocked it with crucial information and helpful tools to make it easier to take action and stay informed on politics and the issues that matter to working Americans.

More than two dozen elected officials turned out on the City Hall steps yesterday to back state Sen. Eric Schneiderman as he announced his run for state attorney general. Read more at the NY Post

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Senator Gillibrand Announces National Effort to Bring Fresh Food and Good Jobs to NYC



(NEW YORK, NY) – The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) proudly announces its support for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative legislation introduced today by New York legislators Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez (D-NY). 

The legislation will provide $1 billion through loans and grants to help build approximately 2,100 new grocery stores in high need areas across the country, including an estimated 273 stores in New York City. The initiative would create an estimated 200,000 new jobs nationally.

The Healthy Food Financing Initiative is a critical part of rejuvenating and revitalizing underserved neighborhoods both in terms of food quality and quality jobs that can support a family. 

New York-based UFCW Local 1500 is a leading partner in the New York FRESH Initiative which serves as a model for the national legislation and has successfully launched two major supermarkets into previously underserved areas in the Bronx.  Those supermarkets also added hundreds of new jobs and subsequent income to area residents.

Supermarkets act as anchors for economic development in a neighborhood.  In community after community, good supermarket jobs provide workers with good wages, career opportunities and most importantly, quality health care coverage that is key to a healthy lifestyle.   UFCW members in New York and across the U.S. take pride in serving their customers with good food.   This national legislation will provide needed funding to expand those opportunities into even more markets.

The UFCW applauds Senator Gillibrand and Congresswoman Velasquez for their vision in bringing worker organizations together with the economic development leaders and health policy advocates to ensure that new food outlets also provide good career jobs and training opportunities for new employees.

We believe that working together works.  With the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, we will:
·        Create new jobs from building new supermarkets in underserved neighborhoods;
·        Create new jobs from operating those stores; and
·        Create new jobs from related development which will grow up and around the new stores.

All the while, providing millions of residents with access to good, healthy, affordable food.


United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, based out of Queens Village, represents over 23,000 grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties and New Jersey. Members of Local 1500 are employed by Pathmark, King Kullen, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, Fairway, D’agastinos, Key Food and Shop Rite.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, with over 1 million in the retail food industry. 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.

For more information, contact Pat Purcell, UFCW Local 1500 at 973-583-9651 or Jill Cashen, UFCW, 202-728-4797 or email
UFCW News Service
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