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Members of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW are on a mission to push for their members' causes at A&P's annual shareholders meeting today.
The union, which represents about 8,000 workers employed at A&P supermarkets, including Waldbaum's, Food Emporium, and Food Basics, is now embroiled in negotiations for a contract for 90 Waldbaum's pharmacists at 35 New York metro area stores.
"As shareholders," said the union's secretary-treasurer, John DeMartino, "We'll be asking some hard questions. Our members have been patiently waiting for a contract for these Waldbaum's pharmacists, but now they want answers. They want to know why A&P wants to take away benefits these workers have had for years, and why the company refuses to come to an agreement unless the union agrees to allow them to withdraw from the Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW retirement plan.
DeMartino said the union is bringing two busloads of its members to rally outside of the meeting to make their position plain. He added that those at the rally will sport T-shirts emblazoned with the legend "A&P: Leave Our Pension Alone!"
A&P officials were unavailable for comment.
The pharmacists' contract expired April 1, and a contract extension ran out at the end of that month. A strike vote was approved on May 13.