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After members of Washington, D.C.-based Teamsters Locals 730 and 639 received 60-day layoff notices from C&S Wholesale Grocers, a subsidiary of which is shuttering two Maryland distribution centers that service Safeway stores, the union is calling for a moratorium on the closures.
The request came in a letter to Robert Miller, CEO of Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. Inc., parent company of Safeway, from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "I believe there are options that have not yet been explored," wrote Hoffa. "I am asking you to enact a 180-day moratorium on the closure while your staff, Maryland and Prince George's County public officials and Teamsters-appointed experts meet to discuss alternatives, with the goal of saving good Maryland jobs."
"These are hardworking people, with families, and we will fight together to ensure that they are protected," added Teamsters Local 730 President Ritchie Brooks. "A decision that impacts more than 700 workers, their families and communities should not be made lightly."
Safeway plans to send most of the jobs provided by the closing DCs to its facilities in Pennsylvania, according to the Teamsters.
Keene, N.H.-based C&S has itself revealed a company-wide restructuring and the layoffs of an as-yet-undetermined number of employees.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million workers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.