Over the last few years working in uncertainty for Pathmark has put tremendous stress on you and your families. Since the latest bankruptcy filing, the unclear future has impacted our entire union. Please know that we are working each day, exhausting all our resources to prevent stores from closing and to save as many jobs as possible.
We, along with representatives of the UFCW International, the affected UFCW Local Unions and our Attorneys, have met with representatives from A&P to discuss critical issues in the bankruptcy.
We discussed issues such as the sales process, to find out the company’s plans and motives to sell the remainder of its stores. We also deliberated with the company on their proposed modifications to our already modified contracts.
A&P is again proposing “adjustments” to our contracts that stand to eliminate or alter many of our contractual protections and benefits previously negotiated. These terms will most likely diminish the value of A&P’s assets and threaten thousands of jobs. Here are some concessions A&P and the purchasers of their stores are seeking:
• Displacing workers with seniority (elimination of bumping rights)
• Limiting your right to strike
• Letting non-union workers come into your stores and do your jobs
• Reducing or eliminating your severance pay
• Reduce Full-Timers
Each one of these issues was discussed with urgency and we collectively conveyed this message to A&P: our members have already sacrificed more than enough. These proposals are very sensitive, they stand to affect thousands of families throughout the Northeast.
Our attorneys continue to meet with Judge Drain at the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District. Preventing A&P from using the bankruptcy court (again) as a weapon to prey on hard-working men and women like you in order to put more money in their pockets is what we are fighting for.
These past few months we have fought very hard to protect what every Pathmark member has earned and deserved, and we do not plan to on stopping. We will do everything in our power to make A&P honor their responsibilities to every member and their families.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone has been very active in voicing his support and solidarity. He has voiced our collective concerns to the Board of Fortress Investment Group, the financing firm hired by A&P.
We will continue to meet with the company and discuss the matters at hand. I must encourage you all to not buy into the rumors you hear throughout the stores. There are many rumors circulating throughout all A&P stores and throughout social networks. Do not empower them by continuing to spread them. Once we have any factual information, you will be immediately notified.
All of the UFCW Local Unions remain in constant contact. We are united and are continuing to meet with potential buyers to discuss their acquisition of stores, and continue to meet with and urge our union employers to place bids on the unsold stores.
Stay strong, now, more than ever. You have the support, the backing and the solidarity of our entire 22,500 member union.