Applauds Fairways Commitment to Community and Retention of Union Employees During Reconstruction After Hurricane Sandy Devastation
WESTBURY, NY (03/01/2013)(readMedia)– United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 1500, the grocery workers union that represents over 3,000 Fairway Market employees throughout the tri-state area, today joined with company officials, employees, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and residents of Red Hook, Brooklyn in welcoming Fairway Markets back to the Hurricane Sandy devastated community. The grand re-opening marks the completion of the renovation of the 39,000-sq.-ft. store, which was completely gutted in the aftermath of the super storm.
” The actions taken by Fairway, especially Howie Glickberg Vice Chairman of Development and grandson of the founder of Fairway Market , in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy have set a new benchmark for corporate responsibility and commitment to employees and customers,” said Bruce W. Both, President of UFCW Local 1500. ” The impact of Hurricane Sandy was catastrophic to begin with but could have been even worse for over 350 of our members had Fairway not responded by implementing plans to employ them at other Fairways immediately, despite no legal requirement to do so. These action speak to their integrity and their commitment to the responsible business practices Fairway management operates under”, Both stated.” We welcome Fairway back to Red Hook and also thank Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for providing tremendous support from New York City government during the re-building.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, almost 350 UFCW Local 1500 members faced the prospects of sudden unemployment. However, in a tremendous gesture of compassion and putting the needs of the Red Hook community and their employees first, Fairway decided to provide jobs to the workers at other Fairway locations. Additionally, as necessary, Fairway also provided free transportation to their effected workers that were relocated to other Fairway markets.
” The lifeline thrown by Fairway to their workers and our members with steady employment after Red hook was devastated cannot be understated,” said Anthony Speelman, Secretary Treasurer of UFCW Local 1500. ” The positive impact their decisions had financially, as well as emotionally, on our members and their families coming out of the after effects of Hurricane Sandy is beyond description. I hope other employers are taking note and begin to understand that sincere responsible business practices and a commitment to positive labor management relations are the foundation of a successful and profitable company,” Speelman concluded.
Prior to the closing of the Red Hook Fairway in November the Union had approximately 350 members employed. With the new renovations, it is expected that many more local residents will get much needed employment and a job with outstanding benefits.
UFCW Local 1500 represents grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Members of Local 1500 are employed by Pathmark, King Kullen, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, Key Food. Fairway, D’agastinos and Shop Rite.