Source: UFCW Local 555

Soon the FTC will approve or deny the merger between Kroger and Cerberus owned Albertsons/Safeway. If the merger is approved, two of the largest grocery chains in the United States will become one company. Due to the size of that new company the FTC will require a significant number of stores to be divested to a third party.

As part of the merger plan, C&S Wholesale Grocers, LLC has agreed to purchase hundreds of stores along with other assets that will need to be divested. Many of these store locations will be in Oregon, Idaho, and SW Washington.

“After meeting with C&S on the divestitures of stores as part of the Kroger/Albertsons merger, we were pleased to find not only that they understood and liked the grocery business, but also recognized the importance of quality employees to their ongoing success. C&S has the opportunity to bring a long term strategy to a grocery industry focused on the short-term demands of shareholders and private equity investors. Employees of Kroger and C&S will be better off than employees of other potential buyers whose actions never seem to match the image they project publically. In a refreshing change of pace, C&S seems poised to deliver a much needed fresh perspective for employees and customers alike.” – Dan Clay, President, UFCW Local 555.

“UFCW 555 supports this merger between Kroger and Albertsons with the divested stores going to C&S. Grocery is a business of constant change, however for our members the important things won’t change: their working conditions will be maintained, their retirements secure, and their healthcare in place. C&S understands the grocery business and wants to bring its fresh perspective to the Pacific Northwest. The financial gurus and spreadsheet warriors running so many grocers often forget that customers want friendly service, locally sourced quality food, and consistent fair prices.” – Sandy Humphrey, Secretary-Treasurer, UFCW Local 555.

“Cerberus no longer wants to own Albertsons. It’s foolish to think that stopping this merger means everything will stay the same. Communities in the Pacific Northwest want to know basic goods and services necessary to care for their families are available at a fair price. Forcing Cerberus to continue to own Albertsons isn’t an option. If they don’t sell to Kroger, it will be someone else. Our members would rather work for people who run grocery stores over online or big box retailers. This merger, combined with a significant divestiture to C&S, represents a good outcome for workers caught in the wake of a private equity company that wants to sell Albertsons.” – Ann Poff, Vice-President, UFCW Local 555 and Safeway Employee.