President John T. Niccollai
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JOHN T. NICCOLLAI - THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 2020
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JOHN T. NICCOLLAI
THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 2020
KINGS BANKRUPTCY UPDATE
President Niccollai reported today that since Kings Supermarkets has filed documents in the Bankruptcy Court your Union is permitted, as a matter of law, to discuss matters which were previously restricted by confidentiality limitations.
Our Attorneys have reviewed the filings made by Kings with the Bankruptcy Court, and we are deeply concerned that the Company is seeking to eliminate the successors and assigns language (Union Contract going to buyer with sale) from the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, further, seeking to reject the Collective Bargaining Agreement in its entirety. The prospective Stalking Horse TLI (buyer) contacted the Union and gave us a long list of concessions and givebacks which would completely gut our agreement. Some of the more notable concessions are as follows:
1. Withdrawal from our Defined Benefit Pension Plan
2. Withdrawal from our no co-pay Union Medical Plan
3. A less than 40-hour guaranteed full-time work week
4. Reduction of premiums
5. A completely new contract with reductions for new hires
There was a follow up phone call by TLI but nothing, based upon my experience, that could be described as realistic negotiations. Shortly thereafter Kings filed for a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy with no further notice to the Union until after the fact. The Union has retained outstanding Bankruptcy Attorneys and we are in the process of opposing certain motions filed by the Company concerning the bankruptcy itself, and the status of our Collective Bargaining Agreement.
We at the Union are hard-pressed to understand why a company would file a petition in Bankruptcy Court during a major pandemic, where supermarkets are experiencing monumental sales and increases in profits. We are also perplexed as to why the Bankruptcy Petition points to the Union as a reason for the petition when all other supermarket operators are reporting record sales and record profits under the same Union Contract.
It is only possible to achieve a positive result in this troubling situation if we all stick together as a group. We presently have an alliance between all affected Local Unions holding contracts with Kings. I am confident that our Brothers and Sisters employed by Kings are also in lockstep with the Union to battle this situation tirelessly in order to protect them and their families.