Ralle planned 3 pm Thursday at Ralphs located at 3410 W 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA
Grocery store workers from seven UFCW unions, representing over 100,000 Kroger and Albertsons employees in twelve states and the District of Columbia, have been engaging in holding actions in front of stores since April 4th to connect with customers about the potential impacts of the proposed megamerger. In Los Angeles, on Thursday, April 13, workers and community members are scheduled to hold a rally outside a Ralphs store in dowtown Los Angeles, where they plan to hand out grocery bags emblazoned with #StopTheMerger messages, along with educational handbills providing information about the proposed megamerger.
Ever since the announcement of the proposed merger by the companies in October, workers, unions, consumer groups, and other stakeholders have expressed concerns about the potential negative impact on workers, shoppers, and suppliers such as farmers and ranchers. In mid-March, a national coalition of over 100 organizations was formed, launching a website at www.NoGroceryMerger.com to raise awareness and opposition to the megamerger.
If approved, the $24.6 billion megamerger could potentially drive out competition, increase food prices, create food deserts, and jeopardize 100,000 union jobs. The growing opposition is urging the Federal Trade Commission to block the megamerger from moving forward and to prevent its potential negative impact on both consumers and labor markets.
Both Albertsons and Kroger have a significant presence in the Los Angeles region, operating numerous stores and employing thousands of workers. In the Los Angeles area Kroger operates under several local banners such as Ralphs and Food 4 Less, while Albertsons operates under the Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions and Safeway banners. In a statement, Kroger said the merger will not result in any layoffs for frontline workers.
“Kroger will not lay off any frontline workers or close any stores, distribution centers or manufacturing facilities as a result of the merger,” stated Sunny Parr, Corporate Affairs Director for Kroger. “Kroger is one of America’s largest unionized workforces, and this merger secures the long-term future of union jobs while creating a more competitive alternative to large, non-union retailers. Beginning day one, we will invest an additional $1 billion to raise wages and benefits, continuing our longstanding track record of associate investments. We pursued this merger to grow jobs, lower prices and provide more choices to consumers across the U.S., Kroger said.
The event is scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 13th, 2023, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., at Ralphs located at 3410 W 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90020. Visuals are expected to include grocery workers and community members handing out flyers and grocery bags, as well as workers holding colorful signs conveying messages opposing the merger.