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Judge postpones hearing in A&P, union dispute

The judge in A&P’s bankruptcy case postponed a scheduled hearing Wednesday on proposed amendments to the retailer’s collective bargaining agreements with its union workers.

According to a filing, the hearing is adjourned “to a date and time to be determined.”

As previously reported, A&P filed an emergency motion under section 113 if the U.S. Bankruptcy Code seeking temporary relief from “bumping” obligations in its contract, saying that allowing workers with seniority to assume jobs at other store locations would disrupt a plan to transfer stores to other owners. A&P is also seeking to limit its severance obligations to employees, who are likely to be fired as A&P carries out its sale strategy. Both of those requests have drawn objection from the United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents A&P’s workers.

Rather than rule on the matter Monday, Drain ordered the sides to negotiate a settlement privately and return to court Wednesday. The postponement could be a sign progress is being made, although neither the union nor the retailer could be reached for immediate comment.

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