WASHINGTON — The United Food and Commercial Workers Union here is sending three representatives to speak at Ahold's annual meeting in the Netherlands this month, saying it plans to denounce the retailer for taking over Ukrops stores with its non-union Martin's banner.
"We are taking a stand at the shareholders' meeting in Europe because we believe that many of the shareholders do not know what's going on at Martin's," Shaquana Battle, who works as a cashier at a Martin’s store in Richmond, said in a statement issued by the union. "Since Ahold bought our store, management dictates everything with little regard for workers and customers. You don’t get the feeling anyone really cares about you as a worker, and there is no sense of dignity."
The UFCW said Ahold's unionized banners have historically posted higher margins than non-union operations and said expanding behind the Martin's brand to Richmond resulted in higher costs for freight that could impact Ahold's valuation. Ahold’s annual meeting is scheduled for April 20 in Amsterdam.