retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Acme Markets is "unilaterally" terminating its contract with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, effective at the end of the month, citing health care costs.

According to the story, a 10 percent increase in payments to a joint employer-employee fund is due on May 1, but the increase is "mandated not by the contract but by a separate board of trustees overseeing the health and welfare fund." Acme's parent company, Cerberus-controlled New Albertsons Inc., says that health care needs to be part of a negotiated contract, not "unilaterally implemented."

The union says it is considering all its options in responding to the company's move; it says that Acme is looking to avoid its responsibilities.
KC's View: