Are Grocery Chains More Competitive?
By George Anderson
In every negotiation in recent years with the locals of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) in markets around the U.S., management at Albertsons,
Kroger and Safeway have argued that they needed wage and benefit concessions from the union to remain competitive with Wal-Mart and other non-union competitors.
Last week, employees at Safeway stores in Colorado and Wyoming voted to approve a new labor deal believing it would result in higher premiums and
less comprehensive medical care for themselves while lowering the wages of new hires.
The Safeway deal follows a similar agreement approved by workers at Kroger-owned King Soopers and City Market in the region a few weeks earlier.
Albertsons and the UFCW have yet to reach an agreement on a new contract.
Moderator’s Comment: Are Albertsons, Kroger and Safeway more competitive with Wal-Mart and other non-union competitors in markets where they have new
labor deals? Of the three grocery chains, which do you think is in the strongest competitive position and why? –
George Anderson – Moderator