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UFCW will continue to represent Tops employees after Price Chopper merger

UFCW will continue to represent Tops employees after Price Chopper merger

United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) will continue to represent nearly 10,000 employees at Tops Friendly Markets and following the merger with Price Chopper/Market 32 (file photo).

Around 10,000 full- and part-time employees of Tops Friendly Markets will continue to be represented by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local One as part of the finalized merger with Price Chopper/Market 32.

Tops and Price Chopper agreed in February to join their nearly 300 stores under one umbrella company, Northeast Grocery Inc. The merger received approval from the Federal Trade Commission on Monday.

Union officials worked to preserve pay and benefits for members working at the 160 Tops stores throughout New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Price Chopper employees are not represented.

“We believe that this merger will be a positive for our membership, preserving union jobs and strengthening the company’s prospects into the foreseeable future,” Frank DeRiso, president of the UFCW Local One, said in a news release.

Tops operates 26 stores in the greater Rochester area and branding will not change. Tops will maintain its corporate office in the Buffalo suburb of Williamsville while Price Chopper will keep its Schenectady headquarters.

The FTC is requiring divestiture of 12 Tops stores in markets shared with Price Chopper. The stores, primarily in the Mohawk Valley and the North Country regions, will be sold to New Hampshire-based  C & S Wholesale Grocers and the UFCW will continue to represent workers.

The union credited the office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) for helping in negotiations.

“Our communities and local economies are best served by healthy competition and the preservation of quality union jobs, so I am happy to see that Price Chopper and Tops Market have reached a mutually agreeable solution with the workers of UFCW Local One,” Schumer said in a news release. “I will continue to fight to ensure our marketplace protects consumers, preserves family-sustaining jobs and allows Upstate businesses to grow and drive our economy forward.”

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