A&P/Pathmark Update from President John T. Niccollai - 9/11/15

A&P/PATHMARK UPDATE – 9/11/2015
FROM PRESIDENT JOHN T. NICCOLLAI

Your Local Union is actively engaged in a number of different fights simultaneously.  We will breakdown our work on your behalf accordingly as follows:

1.     THE BANKRUPTCY COURT

We are pleased to report that working on a daily basis with our professional bankruptcy experts, we have achieved outstanding results for our members.

a.     In the 10 stores in our jurisdiction scheduled to close, full-time members will receive average Severance payouts of $5,000.00, with the highest payment over $10,000.00.  Our part-time members in those same stores will receive average Severance payouts of $350.00, with some payouts exceeding $1,500.00.  In addition, full-time members shall receive three months of continued Health Care and part-time members shall receive two months of continued Health Care.
b.    In our argument in the Bankruptcy Court against bonuses for key employees, we were successful in a Court ruling that allocates an additional $1.1 million of A&P funds to the Union Severance Package from the funds requested by the Company.
c.    We have argued vigorously for Severance Pay to apply to the remaining full-time and part-time members in those stores which remain unsold.  Your Union feels very confident that we can accomplish that result and we will report the same when a final determination has been announced.
d.    The date for the submission of bids on the sale of stores has been extended to Thursday, September 17th from today.  We do not have information from the Bankruptcy Court or the Company on specific Companies bidding on stores, but we can say from what we hear from our Union Employers and others, there is significant interest in stores that remain unsold.
e.    The Bankruptcy Court will be entertaining arguments from the Company and the Unions concerning an additional Section 1113e to remove the Successorship Clause from the Term Sheets. 

Obviously, we will fight vigorously to preserve our Union contract for future purchasers.  In addition, we will present over 12,000 Petitions signed by customers in those stores unsold or closing, which ask Judge Drain to rule that any successors must offer employment to present employees.

 

2.    OUR CONTINUING QUEST TO GET CONTRACTS FROM SUCCESSOR EMPLOYERS IN THOSE STORES SOLD

a.     During the course of this calendar week, your Local Union has had discussions with Albertson’s/Acme, three marathon meetings with Stop & Shop/AHOLD and a lengthy negotiation with Key Foods.  These negotiations are all a work in progress and as you might imagine, cover every issue contained in a Collective Bargaining Agreement as a whole.  Although we cannot report a conclusion, we can report slow positive progress.  We understand the contract needs of our membership and we are working diligently toward those ends.
b.    In addition to our negotiations with the three Companies mentioned above, we are reaching out constantly to all our other Union Employers in the jurisdiction, encouraging them to purchase additional A&P/Pathmark stores.  From our knowledge of each store still unsold, we are doing our best to match an Employer with that store whose operation is best suited based on size, location and format.

3.     PROJECTED CALENDAR OF EVENTS

a.     Concerning the turnover of stores and cessation of business in stores sold, we project October to be the commencement period for sold stores changing hands.
b.    Concerning the stores being sold at auction, we now understand that October 1st will be the new date upon which those stores unsold in the Tier II bidding process, now underway, will go on the block.  Again, we expect strong interest in that sale according to what we are being told by Employers and interested investors.
c.    We would anticipate that the stores not sold at the auction sale would close.  The overwhelming majority of our members have WARN Notice protections concerning wages and benefits.  In addition, as stated above, we are expecting that Severance Pay and continued Health Care will also be provided to those members not immediately reemployed.

4.     LONG TERM OUTLOOK

As we have stated previously, there may be members who have a break in employment because A&P/Pathmark stores are not purchased immediately.  In that situation, your Union will continue to work diligently on your behalf, through preferential hiring lists and continued negotiations with Employers, to purchase and operate stores not operating.  We recognize our paramount purpose is to secure jobs for all those seeking reemployment.  We will be able to use Severance Pay and Unemployment as a safety net during this transitional period.

5.     ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Judge Drain has given workers standing in an arena almost always reserved for debtors and creditors.  His compassion and humanitarianism are noteworthy.

REMAIN STRONG!  STAY POSITIVE AND REMEMBER, WE CONTINUE TO WORK PROUDLY IN A TIRELESS MANNER ON YOUR BEHALF