Unions representing A&P employees said they made some progress convincing buyers of the bankrupt retailer’s stores to keep them employed, with some buyers agreeing to hire a minimum of 25% of their store’s workforce from the pool of displaced workers.
In exchange, the unions agreed to waive objections to the sales, which are being conducted over recent week as a means to raise funds to pay off A&P’s creditors.
According to UFCW Local 1500, which represents Pathmark workers around greater New York, sales to BX&M (Fine Fare) and Fransula Foods (Compare Supermarkets) were approved by the judge after such agreements were reached Monday. Initially unions were seeking to enforce successor clauses in its contract requiring stores to be sold to union operators.
Chains that did not reach a modified hiring agreement, including C&S’s Best Yet Market, and the Asian specialty chain H Mart, had their sale hearings adjourned Monday. “It appears that Best Yet may bid on additional stores, which complicates the issue of protecting jobs even further,” Local 1500 said in a message to its members Tuesday.
The union said it was holding another resource fair for members this Friday where employers including Fairway Markets were expected to interview workers. The fair will also include information on training programs from state labor authorities, union officials said.
Judge Robert Drain late last week approved the sale of 53 A&P stores including 16 units to Key Food and 12 to Wakefern Food Corp.
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