Local union members protested in front of the Kingstowne Safeway yesterday (Wednesday) in opposition to the proposed merger between grocery store conglomerates Kroger and Albertsons.
About 30 members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 marched near the front door of the Safeway at 5980 Kingstowne Towne Center. The local protest was part of a nationwide day action from a coalition of organizations hoping to stop Albertsons, which owns Safeway, from merging with Kroger, which owns Harris Teeter.
A protest was also held at a Safeway (1100 4th Street SW) in D.C.
“[The merger is] not only going to affect the stores and not only the workers at those stores and not only the customers of those stores, but this merger has the potential to impact everyone who shops for groceries in America,” UFCW Local 400 spokesperson Jonathan Williams told FFXnow. “It’s going to completely shift the grocery retail landscape and we think for the worse.”
The protest was to draw attention to the potential downsides of the merger, ask the public to pressure the Federal Trade Commission to not approve it, and to distribute free, reusable grocery bags.
The merger could mean increased food costs, fewer options, and lower sale prices for farmers, critics say.
The $25 billion agreement to merge the country’s two largest grocery store chains was first announced last October. The timeline for when the deal will be approved — or rejected — is not immediately clear, but it was reported earlier this year that it could be a long process.
UFCW Local 400 represents 21,000 food workers across the Mid-Atlantic region. While Williams didn’t know the exact number of Safeway and Harris Teeter workers represented, both stores have numerous locations in Fairfax County.
If the merger goes through, it could lead to closures and increased unemployment regionally, according to Williams.
“In Northern Virginia…if you look at a map of Safeway stores and Kroger-owned Harris Teeter, they are often in close proximity to one another,” he said. “As a result of antitrust regulations as well as efficiency, it’s unlikely for a merged company to operate both stores. What sense does it make to have a grocery store across the street from your other grocery store? So, we were worried about store closures.”
FFXnow has reached out to both Safeway and Harris Teeter representatives for comments on the protests and the merger, but has yet to hear back as of publication.
Despite nearly $25 billion being on the line, Williams expressed some hope that the merger could be stopped. He saw the Senate grill grocery store leadership late last year and believes there’s some momentum for the FTC to reject the deal.
“Unlike in years past, where these mergers are something of a formality on the Hill…there is a lof skepticism that this deal will be approved,” he said. “We are certainly more hopeful than we have been in years past.”
Williams and the rest of UFCW Local 400 hope protests like the one in front of the Kingstowne Safeway will encourage the public to advocate against the merger to the FTC and local lawmakers.
“We’re not talking about Taylor Swift tickets and Ticketmaster here. We’re talking about bread, butter and milk,” said Williams. “And we can’t allow any kind of monopoly in the food system.”
Good Monday evening! Today we published 1 articles that were read a total of 1694 times on FFXnow alone, so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles…
(Updated at 6:35 p.m.) Two people have died, and two more have been hospitalized in an apparent shooting and stabbing at the Tysons View Apartments in Idylwood. A 20-year-old man…
Good Friday evening! Today we published 6 articles that were read a total of 10172 times on FFXnow alone, so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles…
The Faraday Park neighborhood has officially welcomed another tenant: Eve’s Garden Lounge and Bar. The Asian fusion restaurant celebrated its soft opening on Friday, May 12 at 11207 Reston Station…
Are you seeking a confidential space where you can explore your emotions, overcome challenges, and find inner peace? Look no further than our dedicated psychotherapy service! We understand that life can be overwhelming at times, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
At Peaceful Mind Solutions, our passion lies in helping individuals like you navigate life’s complexities and find the strength to thrive. Our skilled and compassionate therapist is committed to creating a warm, non-judgmental environment where you can express your thoughts and feelings openly. With our personalized approach, we tailor each session to address your unique needs and empower you to overcome obstacles.
Through evidence-based techniques and a deep understanding of the human mind, our therapist will guide you on a transformative journey of self-discovery. Whether you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or simply seeking personal growth, we’re here to provide guidance and practical tools for lasting change.
VHC Health hosted its annual Trauma Survivors Day, honoring four former trauma patients and their care team on Tuesday, May 16. For many of these patient honorees, this event was the first time they were reunited with the team of healthcare professionals who cared for them after their injury. Both the healthcare team and the honorees expressed gratitude for the opportunity to thank, hug, and simply see one another again after their experience in the Trauma Center.
In May of 2021, the Commonwealth of Virginia designated VHC Health as a Level II Trauma Center. This designation filled a critical community need; previously, the closest trauma center for Arlington County was in Fairfax or Washington, DC. Since becoming a Level II Trauma Center, VHC Health has provided care for nearly 2,000 trauma patients each year.
Charity Live Music Concert
Ukrainian Charity fundraiser concert at South County High School on June 13, 2023.
All proceeds will go toward Ukrainian funds “Mriya Charity” and “Dai Lapu Drug”, that help kids and animals affected by war.
The concert will include performances by
Active Bystander: TECC Training
For any incident, like the Las Vegas massacre to the Boston Marathon bombings, citizens play a role in saving lives in the minutes following an attack. It is imperative that we provide the knowledge and skills necessary to help our