BRUNO'S UNION TO MEET WITH SUITORS
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The labor union representing employees at Bruno's Supermarkets here will meet this week with prospective buyers for the stores, which are operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Last week, Bruno's and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1657 agreed to postpone a hearing on the retailer's motion to decertify the union, rescheduling it for late this week. Bruno's previously said that successor language in its union contracts was curtailing interest from potential buyers. “This is an important first step toward keeping good jobs in Alabama and Florida, and we are eager to meet with representatives of Bruno's and purchaser representatives to discuss how the union can forge a constructive partnership with any prospective buyer,” Elaise Fox, president of Local 1657, said in a statement.
GIANT EAGLE EXPRESS GETS MAKEOVER
PITTSBURGH — Giant Eagle here has revamped its Giant Eagle Express store in Harmar Township, Pa., with a focus on fresh prepared meals and grocery offerings that customers buy most. The remodeled store — which was the first of its kind for Giant Eagle — includes a hot foods bar and a salad bar; fresh sushi made on-site; a gourmet coffee bar; a variety of ready-to-cook meat and seafood offerings; and Market District ready-to-heat meals. In addition, the store has a new layout, with fresh and frequently purchased items moved to the front of the store and separate checkouts for food and fuel customers. The company tentatively plans three to five more Express locations within the next two years, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported, quoting Giant Eagle officials.
PEAPOD'S CUSTOMER COUNTS UP 20%
BRAINTREE, Mass. — Despite the economic downturn, Peapod by Stop & Shop here, a division of Ahold USA, has seen the number of new customers who have signed up for the online grocery shopping service grow by about 20% so far this year compared with the same period last year, with the number of existing customers remaining steady, Peg Merzbacher, Peapod's director of marketing, told SN. One reason for the jump is that since the start of the year, Peapod has waived its delivery fees for 60 days for new customers.
TWO OHIO UNIONS APPROVE MERGER
MONROE, Ohio — The membership of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1099 last week voted to approve the merger of its union with UFCW Local 911, in creating Local 75, effective April 1, union officials told SN. Local 75 will have about 30,000 members and will represent workers from the Ohio-Michigan border to Lexington, Ky. “The merger gives us more power at the bargaining table, more power to organize and more of a voice politically,” union spokeswoman Brigid Kelly told SN. Local 75 will represent area workers at Kroger, Meijer, Ray's, Chief Markets, Rite-Aid and CVS.
PENN TRAFFIC CUTS BENEFITS: REPORT
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Penn Traffic Co. here said it will freeze the pay of non-union workers, suspend 401(k) contributions and force non-union workers to take a week of unpaid vacation in cost-cutting measures, published reports said last week. WSYR television, citing a press release from the retailer, said the decisions were necessary to weather the recession. The board of directors of the company also rescinded elements of its compensation, the report added.