NEWSWATCH

Senator Aided Chain in Deal: Report LANHAM, Md. — The state senator under federal investigation for his involvement with Shoppers Food Warehouse intervened on behalf of the retailer when it sought public financing and other concessions to build a store in West Baltimore, the Baltimore Sun newspaper reported.

Senator Aided Chain in Deal: Report
LANHAM, Md. — The state senator under federal investigation for his involvement with Shoppers Food Warehouse intervened on behalf of the retailer when it sought public financing and other concessions to build a store in West Baltimore, the Baltimore Sun newspaper reported. As previously reported, Sen. Ulysses Currie of Maryland allegedly did not properly disclose his employment with Shoppers, which had hired the senator as a consultant. The report said the redevelopment of the Mondawmin Mall in West Baltimore, where Shoppers opened a store in 2007, was a “focal point” of the investigation. It detailed Currie’s intervention of behalf of Shoppers, including arranging a 2004 meeting in which Shoppers asked for public financing for the project, and his assistance in getting a financing deal with the center’s developer. Minneapolis-based Supervalu, which owns Shoppers, has said it is cooperating with investigators but has provided no further comment.


Kroger Workers Ratify Contract

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1995 here voted to approve a new labor agreement, the Cincinnati-based retailer said last week. The agreement covers 9,000 workers at 92 Kroger-owned stores in middle and eastern Tennessee, southern Kentucky and northern Alabama. According to UFCW 1995, the deal provides significant improvements in wages and health care, and greater pension security.


Loblaw Opens ‘Green Flagship’ Store

TORONTO — Loblaw Cos. here last week opened what officials called its “environmental flagship” store in Scarborough, Ontario. The new, 120,000-square-foot superstore is the largest food store in Canada to receive LEED certification and incorporates environmentally friendly features the retailer could incorporate in future stores. The store is outfitted with refrigeration equipment designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85%, and heat the sales floor in the winter with its recycled energy. The store also incorporates motion-activated LED lighting in freezer cases; an electricity demand response system that reduces energy consumption during peak demand periods; and waste reduction programs, including one that would collect grease used to cook chickens for conversion to biofuel for trucks.


Overwaitea Workers Approve Pact
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Union workers at Overwaitea’s Save-On-Foods voted by 75% to approve a new contract, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1518 here said last week. The deal was reached with the help of a provincial mediator after workers rejected an earlier contract. Among the contract highlights is an agreement that Overwaitea would limit the number of Save-On stores it could convert to the lower-end PriceSmart banner. Workers would also receive job protection if the store they work in is converted, the union said.


Haub Gets Human Rights Award

MONTVALE, N.J. — Christian Haub, executive chairman of A&P here, was awarded the prestigious 2008 annual Human Rights Award presented by the Jewish Labor Committee. The JLC lauded Haub’s efforts to preserve the quality of work life for employees by recognizing the value of labor unions and employees, according to the organization, which honored Haub in a ceremony last week in New York.