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•  The Main Street Alliance this week has come out against the proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger:

"“The proposed Kroger/Albertsons merger will be a disaster for small and emerging independent brands. Continued consolidation and monopolization will severely limit the ability of small companies to compete in the larger marketplace.

"'Simply put, larger grocers have very little interest in working with small brands. It takes just as much (if not more) time and effort to onboard a small brand compared to a larger counterpart. The larger, more well-known brands will continue to flourish while small brands won't be able to ever make it to store shelves. Over time, all major grocery chains will look substantially similar with fewer choices offered to consumers,' said Main Street Alliance member Kyle Lafond of Wisconsin. 

"Main Street Alliance is committed to ensuring small businesses are able to fully compete in the economy. The Kroger-Albertsons merger will have a severe impact on small businesses around the country and we urge the FTC to deny their request."

•  FMI – The Food Industry Association said yesterday that it has "filed a letter opposing the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) revamp of the rule that determines if a worker is an independent contractor. FMI’s letter calls on DOL to retain the current independent contractor framework and not replace it with the proposal to expand the factors for determination. FMI also joined several associations and businesses in signing a coalition letter opposing the proposed rule. 

"The Fair Labor Standards Act governs how a business classifies a worker, including an independent contractor in a gig profession, as an employee for purposes of applying federal wage and overtime requirements. The proposed rule applies six or more factors in determining whether an independent contractor must be classified as an employee instead of the current policy that applies two core factors. 

"'FMI members need the flexibility to utilize the staffing resources of vendors and contractors, such as on-demand delivery services, to address evolving requirements of our 21st century economy and workforce,' said Christine Pollack, FMI’s vice president of government relations."