Dear Labor Friends & Allies,
At our convention in April, United Food & Commercial Workers International Union delegates voted unanimously to oppose the pending Kroger-Albertsons merger. We are now circulating this letter opposing the merger to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and are asking our friends and allies to sign it. The deadline to sign-on is COB, Friday August 4th. There is form at the end of the letter in the link for you to fill out to sign-on to the letter.
Addressing us taking this position, UFCW International President Marc Perrone said: “For months, the UFCW has called for transparency, engaged independent experts, and assessed the publicly available information on this proposed merger to determine the widespread impact it will have on our members and the communities they serve. At our 9th Regular Convention, hundreds of UFCW delegates representing our entire union from around the country came together to unanimously declare: mergers pose a serious threat to the livelihoods of our members and we must act to confront them. Given the lack of transparency, and the impact a merger between two of the largest supermarket companies could have on essential workers – and the communities and customers they serve – the UFCW stands united in its opposition to the proposed Kroger and Albertsons merger.”
We worked with many of you during the unprecedented 2010 USDA-Justice Department investigation into whether more antitrust enforcement was needed in agricultural markets. During those hearings, our members turned out in force to strongly support more aggressive antitrust enforcement to deliver farmers, ranchers and growers a fairer price. Our members understood that if farmers and ranchers don’t’ receive a fair price, we ultimately will not have enough livestock to harvest. Since 2010, we have continued to build our relationships with our allies, including taking even stronger stands in favor of antitrust reforms to help farmers and ranchers get fairer prices. In return, many of you stood by us when we were being pressured back to work at unsafe workplaces, getting sick and dying during COVID. We have not forgotten that.
During those 2010 hearings, UFCW called on the FTC to investigate the degree to which the unprecedented rise of Walmart’s buyer (monopsony) power was driving consolidation back up food supply chains, and to develop options for antitrust reforms that could curtail Walmart’s growing market power. Unfortunately, as those of you who were around for those hearings know, nothing was done. So, here we are again, more than a decade later, facing yet another merger, that would create yet another mammoth supermarket chain, that would be empowered to wield its predatory monopsony power against its suppliers up and down the food supply chains to a degree that would rival Walmart. This time we are calling on FTC Chair, Lina Khan, and her colleagues on the Commission, to block this merger outright. The time is long past for half-hearted, ineffective mitigation measures that simply provide an excuse for rubberstamping yet another mega-merger. The time for bold action is now. In addition to asking you to sign this letter, we invite you to join us in mobilizing against this dangerous merger while we still can.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Please feel free to circulate widely.
–R Dennis Olson
UFCW International Union
R. Dennis Olson
Senior Research Associate
Food Processing, Packing & Manufacturing Division
United Food & Commercial Workers International Union
1775 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006-1598
Cell: (202) 412-8014
Direct: (202) 466-1514