September 20, 2012: Speculation continues over the future of some 80,000 union workers employed by the grocery giant Super Valu, as the corporation continues to seek a buyer or takeover bid.
Most of the union jobs are as clerks and meatcutters in the United Food and Commercial Workers, but thousands of Teamsters work as drivers and warehouse workers as well.
Super Valu, based in Minneapolis, continues to lose market share to unionized competitors such as Kroger and to anti-union Wal-Mart, which pays poverty wages and skimpy benefits.
Analysts believe Super Valu may likely be sold in pieces, which increases concern for Teamsters and other Super Valu workers. Super Valu operated under its own name, but most of its operations are under such labels as Acme and Shaws/Star Market in the East, Jewel-Osco and Cub Stores in the Midwest, and Albertson’s and Lucky’s in the west.
Often when a corporation is sold in pieces, buyers demand union concessions. This puts clouds over Teamster contract bargaining at the various units.
The issue highlights the need for strong successor language in Teamster contracts.
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