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Union representatives for A&P employees have stopped insisting that the bankrupt supermarket operator sell its stores only to grocers with union contracts, according to published reports.
The reps are now asking that supermarket companies buying the stores agree to hire virtually all of the people working there, and if those terms are agreed to by Montvale, N.J.-based A&P and its buyers, the union will withdraw its objections to the sales, reported the Journal News, in New York's Westchester County. The revised demand was put forward at an Oct. 16 hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y., at which Judge Robert Drain was asked to approve the sale of as many as 72 A&P supermarkets to a range of buyers.
Among other approvals, Drain okayed the sale of 12 stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut to Keasbey, N.J.-based retailer co-op Wakefern Food Corp., whose members operate ShopRite stores, for $40 million, and said that he plans to give the go-ahead to the sale of a Fairview, N.J., Food Basics location as part of a 16-store package purchase by Staten Island, N.Y.-based Key Food Stores Cooperative Inc., according to the Bergen County Record.
Going forward, Judge Drain will have to sift through other objections from landlords who want further assurances that the buyers will operate the property as expected, and the mayor and city council majority leader of Yonkers, N.Y., against CVS' bid to buy a store in the city, on the grounds that they would prefer the site to remain a supermarket, since a drug store is already located across the street.
A&P is slated to shutter all of its stores by Thanksgiving, and associates at locations that are still unsold by that time will be out of work.
In other A&P news, Stop & Shop has embarked on its second wave of conversions of the 25 stores that it has acquired from the grocer. The stores now being converted are located in the New York City boroughs of The Bronx and Queens; Long Island, N.Y.; and South Orange, N.J., and are all expected to be completed by Oct. 30. Pharmacies and banks within the locations will stay open during the conversion process.