Grocery Workers Union Seeks City Assistance for Bankrupt Supermarket

Request Meeting With New York City Mayor Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine Quinn

QUEENS VILLAGE, NY (12/21/2010)(readMedia)– New York State’s largest grocery workers union, United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1500, is seeking assistance from New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg in averting the possible closing of up to 58 Supermarkets owned by A&P Supermarkets. The 58 stores located in New York City operate under the Pathmark, Waldbaums and Food Emporium banners and employ approximately 6,500 workers throughout the five boroughs. A&P, also known as the Great Atlantic and Pacific Company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on December 6, 2010.

In separate letters sent to Speaker Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg, UFCW Local 1500 President Bruce W. Both asked for a meeting to discuss the “tremendous negative effects on the economy of New York City” should there be store closings or layoffs. The letter also referred to the long standing partnership UFCW Local 1500 has had with both parties to help bring more supermarkets and good jobs to New York City.

“The food desert crisis that this City currently faces would reach unimaginable levels without these 58 stores,” stated President Both. “These 58 stores provide neighborhoods throughout New York City the essential building blocks for economic security: good food, good jobs and good health. Just as the City has risen to the challenge each time other sectors of the economy have faced economic difficulty, such as Wall Street and the garment industry, we hope that together we can discover ways to help these 58 stores continue to provide New Yorkers with great food and even better jobs,” Both concluded.

UFCW Local 1500 Secretary-Treasurer Anthony Speelman added “Nearly 150 years ago, The Great American Tea Company opened a store on Vesey Street in New York City. Today, that company provides thousands of New Yorkers living wages, health care and pensions. New York City has a vital interest in seeing that this company not only survives but continues to grow.”

A&P has 20 stores in Manhattan, 15 in Queens, 12 in Brooklyn, six in Staten Island and five in the Bronx operating under three banners. Nationwide, it has 395 stores, including 163 in New York State.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, based out of Queens Village, represents over 23,000 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, Fairway, D’agastinos, Key Food and Shop Rite.

Press Release Archives