NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- Genuardi's Family Markets here said last week workers in the meat and seafood department at its Barnegat, N.J., store will have an opportunity to vote Wednesday on whether to be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.
Late last month, UFCW Local 1776 here said it and other regional UFCW locals had launched an organizing drive at supermarkets operated by Genuardi's Family Markets, a 44-store chain that has stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, and was acquired in February 2001 by Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif.
A Genuardi's spokeswoman told SN, "Our employees have been happy with nonunion status for 80-some years."
Wendell Young 3rd, president, Local 1776, told SN that when the stores were operated by the Genuardi's family, "they prided themselves on being service-oriented and employee-friendly."
However, he added, Safeway's management has "de-Genuardized" the stores, and so the locals have launched their organizing drive. UFCW Local 56 was planning to picket stores, Young said, but his local was focusing on running radio advertisements informing shoppers of changes at the chain and on meeting with Genuardi's workers. Young said he tells them, "Safeway is 80% organized. Why should you be different?"