Thursday, October 27, 2011

A&P/Pathmark Update #15 From President Bruce Both

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13:  A person walks in...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeBy: Bruce Both, President, UFCW Local 1500

Without question, the last 12 months have been very difficult for the Union and members employed by Pathmark. We have been following every news report, reading all other union updates, witnessing questionable business decisions by your employer and hearing the never-ending rumors about the future of A&P/Pathmark.

The last year has been an emotional rollercoaster. We have been forced to watch a once proud company close stores, file for bankruptcy and implement questionable business practices to reverse the decline.

Still, our Union and our 5,000 members employed by Pathmark are still standing strong and united. Together we remain hopeful that Pathmark will emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy with a sound business plan that will lead to a stable, growing company.

The following is a brief summary of actions taken by the Union over the past year to protect Local 1500 Pathmark members and keep you informed.

1. The Union has met with the company several times to discuss both the company plan for the future and potential labor cost savings. These meetings have resulted in no agreements.

2. The Union has shared everything with the membership within the guidelines of the confidentiality agreement Union negotiators were required to sign by a federal judge.

3. The Union has utilized all possible means of communications with Pathmark members. We have used the union website, social media, phone hotlines, direct mail and of course, our Union Delegates.

4. The Union has emphasized in our presentations to the company that we and our members are skeptical on their ability and commitment to running supermarkets effectively.

5. We have demanded the company listens to the people who know industry operations best and have the best solutions to Pathmark’s problems: The backbone of the company, the union members!

6. We have opposed executive bonuses and incentives executive management believes it deserves in order to turn the company around.

7. The Union has made it clear to you, the Pathmark members that any final agreement between the Union and the company will be voted on by you.

I will not begin to guess when this process will reach its conclusion. We can’t predict the future. However, with over a year having already passed, we all are aware that we are getting closer to some resolution.

We must continue to stay united. The company will continue to do what is best for the company and its executives. We must speak as one union with one voice and do what is best for the workers. Remember: One Union, One Voice!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Mornin' One-Liners: #OWS & Labor, Walmart's Health Plan Gets Worse

Good Monday Morning! Below are relevant NY grocery industry news stories for today:

Stop & Shop signs a lease for a new store in Purchase, NY.

Ben & Jerry's newest ice cream, Schweddy Balls, has been banned by Stop & Shop.

In Europe, rumors of Aldi's plans to sell beer for a buck in 2012 have people angry.

The highly criticized Walmart health plan is changing, for the worse: Wal-Mart is substantially rolling back coverage for part-time workers and significantly raising premiums for many full-time staff.  This is due to "rising costs", meanwhile the five Walton heirs who are listed in the Forbes 400 Billionaires list are worth a total of $86.4 billion.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn slammed Walmart on Friday after learning of the Health Care cuts.

UFCW International President Joe Hansen released a statement on Walmart's Health plan changes, saying, "This lowering of working standards will have repercussions throughout the retail industry- particularly for part-time workers."

UFCW International also endorsed Barack Obama last week.

Editorial: Walmart shifts employee health costs to States.

Walmart could seek World Trade Organization relief in their controversial Massmart (South Africa) deal. 

USA Today wonders if Walmart's business problems in China are just an example of a growing trend for foreign retailers in China.

"Our Walmart" held a teach in at Occupy Wall Street last week.

Walmart workers Occupy Wall Street.

NBC, NY 1 & Crain's covered the Walmart teach in. 

Verizon workers marched with #OWS on Friday.

New poll shows over a third of Americans support #OWS.

AFL-CIO: Unions join Occupy Wall Street movement.

The Washington Post examines the uneasy alliance between #OWS protesters and the labor movement.

Fairway is teaming up with a local TV Chef to help public TV in Connecticut.

In Commack, Long Island, Pathmark leaves a big spot to fill.

A new ShopRite in Somerville, NJ, which replaced a closed Pathmark, has the community excited and hopeful for a revitalization of business.

A&P has been fighting to save a development in New Jersey, where the landlord was accused of soliciting other retailers & having reservations about the bankrupt company...Last week a judge adjourned the dispute, encouraging A&P and the landlord to settle out of court.  Another hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 14.

JBS workers in Minnesota vote in the UFCW!

Local 1500 raised over $9,000 for the Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk at Jones Beach.  Local 1500 member Jessica Goldstein was quoted, “We walk every year to show support from the union we work for,” in the Long Island report.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk: Over $9K Raised!

An enormous THANK YOU to everyone who participated and raised money this October for Breast Cancer awareness!  Together we raised over $9300!  Great job to all who came to the walk, and to those who raised money at their stores!  Below are some pictures from the walk and some fundraisers at stores.  If you have any other pics, send em in! Email to!  Thanks again for raising a tremendous amount of money for a great cause!