Grocery store unions push back on Kroger-Albertsons merger

Seattle, WA. – The news of the potential Kroger-Albertson’s merger is drawing pushback from grocery store workers.

Unions UFCW 3000, UFCW 367 and Teamsters 38 are strongly opposing an upcoming dividend payment of $4 billion from Albertsons to shareholders, as well as the merger altogether.

Tom Geiger, a spokesperson with UFCW 3000, says when unions and workers found out about the payment, it didn’t sit well with many.

“People are having a hard time paying for food themselves, honestly. And seeing the companies that they work for giving away billions to shareholders is not well received,” Geiger said.

He also tells KIRO 7 the money in this payment could have gone to lower store prices, better worker pay, and safer stores.

“Well, they ought to be investing that back in the stores. They ought to be investing that in reducing prices for shoppers and they need to be investing it in increasing wages for some of these workers who are quite frankly not getting paid that much during the pandemic,” Geiger said.

He hopes something can be done to halt the dividend payment and merger altogether.

“We think there should be an immediate injunction or some sort of interruption to that process. Why move that so fast? There’s really no explanation for that,” Geiger said.

UW Lecturer Department of Economics Cristian Santesteban spoke with KIRO 7 earlier in the week about how mega mergers like these aren’t only bad for business and competition, but consumers as well.

“And whatever benefit they claim by being so large and negotiating prices with the suppliers, that’s not going to offset the reduction in competition,” Santesteban said.

KIRO 7 has reached out to Albertsons about the unions’ concerns about the payment.