CA Legislature Agrees: Essential Workers Deserve Protection from Effects of Mergers and Acquisitions September 15, 2023 -- Sacramento, CA – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council applauded the California State Legislature for passing three critical bills, SB 725 (Smallwood-Cuevas), the Grocery Worker Safety Net, AB 647 (Holden), the Protect Grocery Workers Job Act, and AB 853 (Maienschein), Californians’ Right to Know on Essential Goods and Services. Together this package of bills will help mitigate the effects of mergers and acquisitions on the grocery and drug-retail industries. In October 2022, it was announced that Kroger and Albertsons would pursue a $24.6 billion mega-merger, joining together two of the largest grocery chains in the United States. Nationally, these two grocery chains employ over 700,000 workers and operate over 50 manufacturing facilities and 5,000 retail stores. California has more of these two grocery chains than any other state in the country, with Kroger operating approximately 233 stores under the Ralphs, Food 4 Less and Foods Co banners and Albertsons operating approximately 579 grocery stores under the Albertsons, Safeway, Vons and Pavilions banners. A merger between these two companies could result in large-scale layoffs for workers and without protections, the loss of this many jobs in one region will have ripple effects through the local economy and further burden an already tattered social safety net. In Los Angeles and Orange Counties, 115 of 159 Albertsons stores are within two miles of a Kroger store and are potential targets of closures by the Federal Trade Commission. This could result in an estimated 5,750 jobs being lost in the Los Angeles region alone. Read more: #UFCW #UFCW8 #1u

Amazon Fresh ‘zombie’ stores reportedly causing legal troubles Landlords are not happy over properties that were supposed to open Sep 06, 2023 -- Amazon is reportedly facing lawsuits and getting into legal battles with landlords as the number of “zombie” stores — or properties where it was supposed to open Amazon Fresh grocery stores — is starting to pile up, reports Business Insider. Amazon has been trying to establish a larger presence in the grocery marketplace, but the strategy has been a struggle since the ecommerce giant first acquired the Whole Foods grocery brand in 2017. During the company’s fourth-quarter conference call with analysts, Amazon CEO Andrew Jassy said that the company was doing a “fair bit of experimentation … to try to find a format that we think resonates with customers.” As part of the testing, Amazon has canceled or paused some Fresh stores over the last year, however, and it is reportedly resulting in legal battles with landlords. One of the latest lawsuits involves a Long Island, N.Y., lease that Amazon “tried to get out of by nitpicking about things like the colors and a light,” Mark Sagliocca, whose family manages Salisbury and the property in question, told the New York Post. Amazon signed a lease for a storefront with Salisbury Partners in April 2022 and the two are scheduled to appear in New York state supreme court on Sept. 22. The developer sued Amazon this past spring for $37 million, including unpaid rent on the property. #UFCW #UFCW8 #1u #Amazon

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CA Workers need more sick days! Please let your elected officials know how important it is to vote YES on Senate Bill 616 by Senator Lena Gonzalez to require employers to provide workers with five paid sick days. #SB616 #UFCW #1u

ATTN Essential Workers: Please tell your legislators, Striking Workers Deserve Unemployment Insurance! Ask them to vote yes on #SB799 #UFCW #1u

Please take a minute and send an email to your Senator to fix staffing levels in our pharmacies with #AB1286! #UFCW #1u