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Nevada ranked 5th highest in grocery store bills (Photo: Shutterstock)

AG Ford And Labor Union Join Forces With FTC to Stop Supermarket Merger

The FTC and AG Ford’s job is to protect the consumer, not politically-aligned unions

By Megan Barth, April 30, 2024 1:04 pm

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford (D) held various community listening sessions prior to joining the lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop the $24.6 billion Krogers-Albertsons merger. After “studying the data” and listening to consumers and unions, Ford highlighted in an interview that he was motivated to join the lawsuit, in large part, to “labor concerns” and “wages and benefits.”

In their public announcement, the FTC charged, “For thousands of grocery store workers, Kroger’s proposed acquisition of Albertsons would immediately erase aggressive competition for workers, threatening the ability of employees to secure higher wages, better benefits, and improved working conditions.”

Kroger and Albertson’s are the two largest employers of union grocery labor (approximately 700,000 employees in the United States) with a majority of their employees paying dues to the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union.

The FTC admits that “UFCW and other unions leverage the fact that Kroger and Albertsons are separate and competing companies. Unions push for both supermarket chains to negotiate better employment terms for union grocery workers, especially when negotiating over collective bargaining agreements (CBAs).”

The FTC  alleges that “A combined Kroger/Albertsons, however, would gain increased leverage over workers and their unions—to the detriment of workers. The combined Kroger and Albertsons would have more leverage to impose subpar terms on union grocery workers that slow improvements to wages, worsen benefits, and potentially degrade working conditions. In some regions, such as in Denver, the combined Kroger/Albertsons would be the only employer of union grocery labor. Union grocery workers ability to leverage the threat of a boycott or strike to negotiate better CBA terms would also be weakened.”

To note, rising union wages, compensation packages, and strikes also increase prices to consumers.

For those who understand Nevada and national politics, it should  come as no surprise that the largest donors to Democratic candidates and officials is the UFCW. From 2020-2023, the UFCW Western States Council gave over $55,000 to various Democratic legislators and the Democratic Assembly Caucus.

(Screenshot NV.SOS.GOV)

In 2022 the UFCW PAC invested $75,000 in Democratic legislators and officials, including a $5,000 donation to the “Committee to Elect Aaron Ford.” Since Ford’s campaign for NV Attorney General, UFCW remains one of his largest contributors.

(Screenshot NV SOS)
(Screenshot NV SOS)

The UFCW and Ford backed President Biden’s so-called ‘Inflation Reduction Act,” which has not, as Bernie Sanders predicted, reduced inflation. In fact, Nevadans are paying more for less since 2021 as the Silver State inflation rate has skyrocketed to 21.6 percent.

Last month The Globe reported that Nevadans have the second-highest grocery bills in the United States. On average, Nevadans spend $294.76 a week/$1,179 a month on groceries. Household with children spend 41 percent more, with a four-person household spending an average of $315.22 per week.

Joining a lawsuit to prevent a merger between union employers has the appearance of consumer protection, however the political forces and money involved and the public statements by the FTC, Ford and the UFCW suggest that the power of Democratic-aligned unions has greater influence over Ford’s actions than the  pocketbooks of Nevada consumers and constituents.

Ultimately, the FTC and AG Ford’s job is to protect the consumer, not politically-aligned unions.


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Megan Barth
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One thought on “AG Ford And Labor Union Join Forces With FTC to Stop Supermarket Merger

  1. The shutdown of the 99 cent stores- has more of an impact than his merger.. no one cares because no union contributions to politicians.

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