Today and tomorrow UFCW Local 464A Representatives, along with A&P Personnel and Executives from Albertson’s, will be visiting all 52 stores in New York and New Jersey, which are scheduled to be purchased by Albertson’s. The purpose of the meeting is to basically meet and greet and to answer some questions that members might have concerning the acquisition. Albertson’s has indicated that they will be offering employment to the former employees of A&P/Pathmark. In addition, Albertson’s went on further to represent that they anticipate the need for additional personnel to grow the former A&P/Pathmark stores. Obviously, the information provided above is very positive and we are, to date, very pleased with the progress relating to these “Sold Stores”.
Without a doubt, there are members reading this website who now ask the question, “What about me? I’m in a store either slated to close or in a store not yet purchased.” The next step in the process, as we understand it, will be the sale of the so-called Tier 2 A&P/Pathmark stores that remain unsold or scheduled to close. As we look at this list, there are many outstanding locations that, from an economic point of view, cannot go dark and be closed. The Local Unions collectively are talking to all our Union Employers concerning their purchase of these stores that remain unsold or are slated to close. We are able to report that our conversations are positive and we expect additional stores to be purchased and jobs provided to the members working therein.
The next obvious question is, “What happens if my store remains unsold?” The answer to that question is that all the Local Unions, along with our International, are working on a plan that will afford members in unsold or closed stores to petition for employment with the new owners of those locations. Again, we expect a positive result in these efforts since all Companies buying the A&P/Pathmark stores are projecting an infusion of capital, increased sales and an expansion of the business.
There are many issues that remain unsettled with A&P/Pathmark that will need to be resolved through the Bankruptcy Court. We are represented among the 12 Locals by knowledgeable experts in the field of bankruptcy. As we stated in our last posting regarding the unconscionable position taken by A&P/Pathmark, we intend to fight and protect the rights of our Local Union members.
We know the Rumor Mill is rampant once again, projecting doom and gloom and the fact that the sky is falling. We can tell you that we are going through a most difficult transitional period, but we see a light at the end of the tunnel. This is not a Chapter 7 Dissolution. We are dealing with a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, with numerous successful purchasers willing and able to buy the A&P/Pathmark stores and give employment and a bright future to the membership.
We will deal with A&P/Pathmark and the problems they are creating for our members. However, we must remember that our primary purpose is to secure jobs for our members with these new Employers. We can’t take our eye off the ball and be distracted by the Rumor Mill or our continuing battle with A&P. First and foremost we need to procure employment for those members in the stores sold, the stores that are scheduled to close and the stores that yet remain unsold. The United States Marines have a great motto, “No Man Left Behind”. We, at Local 464A, would like to adopt that motto in this crisis and say, “No Man or Woman Left Behind”. We want all our members to understand that we are strongly committed to that concept on your behalf.