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The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) came out with a statement over the weekend accusing Safeway and Ahold-owned Giant of Landover of “going nuclear” in their attempt to “ram through a contract that would drive workers out of the middle class, undermine their health and retirement security, and squeeze even more profits out of their hard work. And, the UFCW condemned “the companies' decision to prominently post ‘help wanted’ ads for ‘replacement’ workers and rapidly escalating efforts to silence workers as evidence that management wants provoke a strike or order a lockout when the current collective bargaining agreement expires on March 31st.”

"We've been meeting since January 11th and with our deadline less than a month away, Giant and Safeway management refuses to negotiate in good faith, instead presenting us with a list of more than 30 demands that will take thousands of dollars out of the pockets of our members and into the already-overflowing wallets of top executives and shareholders," said the UFCW’s Tom McNutt. "This is not about economic necessity — rather, it's about unvarnished corporate greed ... If Giant and Safeway think that trying to intimidate, frighten and silence their workers will force us to bow to their demands, they've got another thing coming.”
KC's View:
The contract does not expire until March 31st? Geez ... what’s all the bloviating about? In many cases, it seems like they don’t even get down to0 serious discussions until a week before, with the threats back and forth saved until there are just hours to go. Then, there are the inevitable extensions and, in most cases, a settlement that everybody says makes them happy but nobody feels really good about.

Of course the chains are looking for replacement workers. That’s what you do when you want to apply pressure during a contract negotiation. (Betcha the UFCW has ordered some picket signs, just in case...)

You guys want to blow up at each other? Get back to me around March 25.

BTW...just one more thought here. With everything that is going on between Iran and Israel right now, maybe you guys ought to retire the “going nuclear” hyperbole.