WESTBURY, NEW YORK (12/12/2011)(readMedia)-- New York State's largest grocery workers Union is protesting the decision by A&P/Pathmark to open their stores on Christmas Day this year. In a letter to company executives, United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 cited the stress of the companies on going bankruptcy and urged "that as this very difficult year draws to a close, now more than ever we should respect and welcome a day off for reflection and uninterrupted time with friends and family." The Union will hand bill company stores this week urging the public to contact A&P/Pathmark management and express their disapproval.
UFCW Local 1500 Secretary Treasurer Anthony Speelman directed his outrage at company executives. "Now is no time for A&P/Pathmark management to play the role of the Grinch. Their employees have suffered through store closings, uncertainty and lost wages," Speelman commented. "Asking our members to work on Christmas Day shows a stunning lack of compassion and another example of this "War on Christmas" we seem to read about each day. Even the Grinch would be shocked by A&P/Pathmarks decision and would question if they had any heart at all."
Making its case for the stores to remain closed on Christmas, the Union stated in its letter to management that "Pathmark members and your company just concluded a year of very difficult and contentious negotiations. Our members have sacrificed much to assist your company as it moves to emerge from bankruptcy. During the year, stress levels for all parties involved were very high as stores were closed and rampant rumors of the company's demise put thousands of workers and their families on edge. This year was an emotional rollercoaster for many," wrote Speelman. The Union received no written response from the Company.
"A&P/Pathmark ended up in bankruptcy because of poor decisions by former management. Hopefully current management will not follow in their footsteps and respect their workers, their customers and the spirit of the Christmas season and keep these stores shut," Speelman concluded.
Basing their request on different grounds, the Union also sent a letter to Gristedes Supermarket asking that they remain closed. Supermarkets such as Stop and Shop, King Kullen, Shop Rite and several others have agreed to remain closed on Christmas day.
UFCW Local 1500 represents 23,000 grocery workers in Long Island, the five boroughs , Westchester, Putnam and Duchess Counties.