The unions of New York A&P are facing issues of job security. Even if the union might be able to save jobs for certain workers, they might have to forego certain employees or take on a lower salary with fewer benefits of the whole. This outcome is following the verdict delivered by the US Bankruptcy court. The verdict was delivered last week when a compromise was reached between A&P and United Food and Commercial Workers. The compromise was to save as many jobs as would be possible. Once this verdict was reached, the local unions are now looking for ways to make the most of current situations.
The Judge who presided over the case, Robert Drain met with the bankruptcy lawyers privately in order to seek a compromise that would mean saving as many jobs as it would be possible by the company. The company is currently facing bankruptcy as per Chapter 11. The stress is on a cost neutral solution. The verdict, however, has brought about a lot of confusion in the minds of the local union members.
The turmoil is being faced among the local unions as there are several rights that become applicable in this scenario. For instance, senior workers are eligible for a job at an open store if another store is closed. The jobs of senior workers would be replaced by less senior jobs and hence, when one made about $25 every hour, they would be forced to take on job positions where the pay is $10 per hour or to be unemployed.
The judge has stated that, if the unions are unable to come to a compromise with the management, he will intervene in that matter. The bankruptcy filing by A&P includes around twenty five stores closing and 275 other stores are being put up for sale. There are three supermarkets that have placed a bid to buy out 118 stores of A&P. The company is on the lookout for selling the other stores.
Last week the company asked the judge to allow it to suspend the bumping rights for the employees as per the purchasing agreements that have been formed with the three bidders who are looking to buy out some of the stores of the company. The lawyers who are representing the unions, state that the contract terms around these provisions were vague and hence, the employee bumping rights should not be suspended. The employee bumping rights was introduced back in 1776 when the cost neutral bumping rights notion was introduced. As per the collective bargaining settlement that was made at that time, senior workers who have worked at least four or more years in a company can bump another less senior employee and so forth.