D.C. Union Plans to ‘Occupy’ Giant, Safeway

LANDOVER, Md. — Union workers of Safeway [3] and Giant Food [4] here have launched a campaign to promote their role in the success of their employers as a new round of contract talks begin.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, whose contract with Giant and Safeway in the Washington, D.C., market expires March 31, said Monday it has launched a new website, Occupygiantandsafeway.org, detailing the union’s case for a contract along with information detailing what it called strong financial results at Giant and Safeway, and emphasizing the disparity between management and worker compensation using language from the Occupy Wall Street movement. 

Tom McNutt, president of the 17,000-member union, told shop stewards in a meeting last week that Giant and Safeway together control about 60% of the Washington market share. “It’s our work that makes that dominance possible and it’s our hard work that will maintain and expand their dominance in the years to come,” McNutt said. “So the issue isn’t whether Giant and Safeway can afford to agree on a good contract that keeps you solidly in the middle class and improves your economic standing. We know they can. Rather, it’s whether these two companies choose their long-term self-interest over short-term greed.”