Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Acme Supermarkets Reducing Full-Time Jobs

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Acme Supermarkets Reducing Full-Time Jobs

Article excerpt

The Acme supermarket chain saved hundreds of grocery jobs in North Jersey when it bought 10 stores from the bankrupt A&P in September 2015. Now, Acme is looking to shed some of those jobs to tighten up staffing levels at some stores.

The company wants to convert about 100 full-time positions to part-time jobs, but also is offering voluntary severance packages as a way to reduce the number of jobs affected.

Acme communications and government relations manager Danielle D'Elia confirmed the staffing reduction plan Monday and said Acme had decided that "in northern New Jersey, our stores are overstaffed [by] approximately 100 full-time employees." Acme, she said, is "looking to reduce these employees from full-time to part-time status while maintaining their full-time benefits."

Acme, D'Elia said, agreed to a request by the unions representing the workers to first seek volunteers for a buyout package.

"In lieu of the layoffs, we've tried to implement a program that would be a win-win," said John Niccollai, president of Little Falls- based Local 464A of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents workers at many of the Acme stores.

Buyouts offered

The company is offering buyout pay of $5,000 with three months of continued benefits, or $7,500 without benefits. The buyout payments will only be made if at least 49 people take the offer. If 49 workers do not take the voluntary severance package, then Acme will convert 73 jobs to part-time employment, according to details on the Local 464A website.

The deadline for volunteering for the buyout is Feb. 23.

Niccollai said if workers are reduced to part-time status, their hourly wage will not be cut, and they will retain the same benefits they received as full-time employees for at least a year. The union ratified a new contract with Acme in December. The staffing reduction plan arose after the ratification. …

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