Joe Duffle

UFCW Local 1167 praises FTC’s filing of lawsuit to block Kroger/Albertsons merger Bad for consumers and bad for workers,’ President Duffle says


BLOOMINGTON, CALIF. (Feb. 26, 2024) — United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1167 applauded today’s announcement by the Federal Trade Commission that it is suing to block the Kroger Company’s proposed acquisition of the Albertsons Companies, Inc.

  “We agree with the FTC’s determination that this $24.6 billion deal is bad for consumers and bad for workers currently employed at America’s two largest supermarket companies,” Local 1167 President Joe Duffle said. 

  “If it is allowed to proceed, the country’s food shoppers can expect higher prices and poorer selections of products on the shelves,” President Duffle said. “This is what happens when one giant corporation dominates the marketplace.

  “What’s more, local economies will suffer from the inevitable layoffs of supermarket workers as Kroger exercises that dominance without restraint.”

  Duffle said Henry Liu, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, was correct in pointing out that Kroger’s acquisition of Albertsons “would lead to additional grocery price hikes for everyday goods, further exacerbating the financial strain consumers across the country face today.” 

  Liu added: “Essential grocery store workers would also suffer under this deal, facing the threat of their wages dwindling, benefits diminishing, and their working conditions deteriorating.”

  Duffle said the FTC is also correct in noting that the proposed Kroger/Albertsons divestiture plan, which would entail transferring several hundred stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers, a relatively small operator with only 23 stores and a single retail pharmacy, fails to address the serious shortcomings of the proposed merger.

  “Nobody really expects C&S can become a strong competitor to the new Kroger behemoth,” Duffle said.

  “We congratulate the FTC for standing with the food consumers and supermarket workers of America,” he said.

  UFCW Local 1167 supermarket employees and other workers in California’s Inland Empire, including San Bernardino County and most of Riverside County.