Kroger and Albertsons Workers Concerned About Merger

Store employees are worried layoffs may follow a merger.

Store employees are worried layoffs may follow a merger.

Recently, two of the largest grocery supermarket chains in the United States, Kroger and Albertsons, announced their intents to merge into a single, currently-unnamed entity. The two have submitted a formal proposal for the merger to the Federal Trade Commission and are awaiting permission. However, while the chains wait, their employees have expressed concerns.

Unions representing both Kroger and Albertsons employees have publicly voiced their opposition to the merger, saying that combining two of the country’s largest chains would not only be detrimental from competition and pricing standpoints, adversely affecting customers, but could result in widespread layoffs for the employees.

Naomi Oligario, an Albertsons worker, recalled to The Guardian the turmoil that arose when the Safeway she worked at was acquired, including layoffs, price hikes, and general confusion and dissatisfaction. “It was a fiasco, and heart-wrenching, because some people with more seniority than myself didn’t get their jobs back,” said Oligario. “It’s nerve-racking to think that we might have to go through that whole fiasco again.”

“The Kroger and Albertsons CEOs, they’re there to make it sound good for them to make the merger go through. They’re not thinking about the workers, they’re not thinking about the consumers. They’re thinking about their pockets,” added Oligario.

A Kroger spokesperson told The Guardian that “We are committed to building on our track record of supporting associates by investing $1bn to continue raising associate wages and comprehensive benefits following the merger close.

“Kroger will not close any stores, distribution centers or manufacturing facilities as a result of this merger, including stores that may need to be divested to obtain regulatory approval.”

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