A&P to Offer Union Buyouts

MONTVALE, N.J. — A&P [3] here is offering a voluntary buyout for certain senior employees represented by unions.

According to a draft of A&P’s buyout plan published by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 464A, Little Falls, N.J., this week, the retailer would offer employees with five years of full-time seniority who volunteer for the program 34 weeks of pay; pay for unused vacation time in 2012; and eight months of continued health coverage. The program would begin next week and continue until March 31.

A&P also said it would not contest claims for unemployment benefits for employees that volunteer for the program. The program exempts several groups of employees including department heads, managers and lead personnel, dependent upon union agreements.

The union said it posted the preliminary document to inform members of the company’s intentions amid rampant rumors. John Niccolai, the union’s president, in a statement said A&P’s handling of the voluntary severance program was “a chaotic mess.”

According to the published memo from Derek Kinney, A&P’s vice president of labor relations, “A&P has determined that it needs to reduce its labor costs for economic and operational reasons.”

Separately this week, A&P said it would close a Pathmark store in Lawnside, N.J., April 30 due to a lease expiration.