President Niccollai reported today that close to 100 individuals attended the meeting regarding the proposed merger between Albertsons and Kroger held at the Hyatt O’Hare in Chicago yesterday.

The meeting was chaired by International President Marc Perrone who initially met with the Local Unions holding Collective Bargaining Agreements with Albertsons, Kroger, or both.  The meeting then moved on to include a joint meeting with representatives of both Companies.

The initial Union position was mainly opposition to the merger, as the affected Unions spoke.  President Perrone then called on Dan Dosenbach, Vice President of Human Resources/Labor Relations and Brent Bohn, Vice President of Labor Relations, from Albertsons; along with Jon McPherson, Vice President of Labor Relations, from Kroger to address the group and field questions.  Most of the Union questions related to the individual concerns on a Local Union level regarding the protections and future for UFCW members under a merged entity.

The Companies did admit that approximately 350 stores might need to be placed with a new spin Company because of Federal Trade Commission objections to stores operating too closely in proximity to one another.  The Companies did indicate these stores would continue to be operated Union, and a good faith effort would be made to sell them off Union wherever possible.

The meeting was concluded by International President Perrone who took the position that we need substantially more information to formulate a proper and intelligent position.  He directed the hiring of experts in this field to delve deeper into all facts and circumstances and, further, to get into the Companies’ data rooms and gather complete information.  Perrone suggested a follow-up meeting with all Local Unions in an expeditious manner once our experts conclude their study and the Companies completely answer all our questions.

We, at Local 464A, will continue to keep our members informed as important events occur.  We will move ahead with business as usual and our outstanding service to our customers.