Union warns Safeway-Kroger merger will cost jobs, hike prices

Supermarket workers — members of UFCW Local 400 — were out at area Safeway and Kroger supermarkets yesterday as part of “StopTheMerger” protests across the country, warning shoppers that the proposed merger of Kroger and Albertsons (which owns Safeway) “is a looming disaster for everyone who buys groceries in America.” The union is urging the Federal Trade Commission to veto the proposed multi-billion-dollar merger. “I come out of Local 400,” said Metro DC President Dyana Forester, who joined two dozen protesters outside the Safeway in Southwest, just blocks from Nationals Park. That store was her local grocery when growing up. “We want to make sure we have the community behind us, and let them know how the merger would impact the community and the jobs.” The fear among UFCW 400 workers and other Safeway and Kroger workers nationwide is that if the merger goes through, dozens of stores will be closed, thousands of jobs will be lost, and prices will rise for shoppers because competition for their business will decline, said UFCW 400’s Aretha Green. “We are on the verge of losing our store,” said Green, “We feel it coming.”
– reporting by Mark Gruenberg, PAI News; photo by Chris Garlock/Union City

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