ACME workers negotiating benefits

    Union officials have argued that the company is using the tough economy to push workers into accepting concessions.

    Representatives from ACME Markets and the union that represents 4,000 workers in 40 stores around Philadelphia are in negotiations.

    For over a year the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 had been working under the terms of an expired contract. The disagreement has centered around pension and benefit cuts the company says are necessary to remain competitive.

    Union officials have argued that the company is using the tough economy to push workers into accepting concessions.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090713lfacme.mp3]

    Arthur Shostak is a Professor Emeritus of sociology at Drexel University. He says difficult negotiations probably will not change many customers’ minds about where to shop because they have a strong connection with stores where they often shop.

    Shostak: Difficult talks make no behavior request on the buying public beyond expressions at the counter of concern. Customers will increasingly ask check out people: what’s going on, what’s it looking like, do you expect there’s going to be a strike?

    Shostak says if there is a strike or if customers feel the union workers did not get a fair deal in a new contract, consumers may think twice about where to buy their milk and bread.

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