April 11, 2014

Vons, along with representatives of Albertsons and Ralphs, met again this week on April 9 and 10 with all of the Southern California UFCW Locals to continue our negotiations on a new contract covering our stores in Southern California. During these meetings, we also spent time working with our Consultant and discussing with the Locals the H&W and Pension plans covering our Pharmacists. While no specific agreements were reached, the parties agreed to have the Consultant provide us with additional information so that we can continue these discussions at our next meeting.

This week, the parties also contacted the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and requested that they assign a mediator to assist in these negotiations, as they did in our prior negotiations in both 2007 and 2011. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) is an agency of the United States Government that, in addition to other functions, provides assistance with mediation during contract negotiations. An FMCS mediator, if effective, can assist the parties in exploring possible compromises and approaches to issues that the parties may not have previously considered. However, a mediator is not empowered to order the parties to agree on anything. Further information on mediation and the role of the FMCS may be found at the following web site: http://www.fmcs.gov/internet/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=141&itemID=15911

Lastly, we were also able to reach an agreement between the Companies and the Locals that extends our current contract through May 11, 2014 and day to day thereafter until we successfully negotiate a new Agreement or either party cancels the extension. We also scheduled additional negotiating dates on May 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

We will continue to keep you informed as these negotiations progress. In the meantime, Vons remains committed to doing everything within its power to reach a fair and reasonable agreement with the Locals that is good for you, good for our customers and good for our business.

April 3, 2014

Since our last update, Vons, along with representatives of Albertsons and Ralphs, met again on March 24th and on April 1st and 2nd with all of the Southern California UFCW Locals to continue our negotiations on a new contract covering our stores throughout Southern California.

Both sides spent much of the two day sessions on April 1 and 2 meeting separately with their respective Health and Welfare and Pension advisors and consultants, discussing possible solutions to the Health and Welfare and very significant Pension issues that must be addressed during the course of these negotiations. Based on those discussions, the parties then met and jointly directed their consultants to perform additional analysis in preparation for our use in future negotiating sessions. On Pension, the parties also directed their Pension consultants to provide them with further information so that the parties can begin discussing the specific steps that will need to be taken to insure the proper funding and long term stability of your Pension plan.

The parties will be meeting again next week on April 9 and 10 and also currently have additional negotiating sessions scheduled for April 23, 24, 25 and May 6, 7, 14, 15 and 16. While Vons remains optimistic that we can and will be able to complete these negotiations in a peaceful and timely manner, we still have a lot of hard work to do on some very difficult issues. For its part, Vons will continue to do everything it can to find reasonable solutions to the issues facing our employees and our Company so that we can reach agreement with the Locals on a new contract that is fair to you, our employees, and also allows your Company to continue to successfully compete in the Southern California market.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to stay focused on serving and taking care of our customers. Satisfying all of our customers each and every time they visit our stores must remain our number one priority during this critical time.

Thank you for all you are doing every day to make Vons a great place for our customers to shop.

March 20, 2014

Vons, along with representatives of Albertsons and Ralphs, met again on March 18 and 19 with all of the Southern California UFCW Locals to continue our negotiations on a new contract covering our stores throughout Southern California. To date, we have held six days of meetings with the So Cal Locals and currently have a number of additional meetings scheduled throughout March, April and May.

So far, our discussions have centered on the various contract language proposals that have been made by the Employers and the Locals. This is typical of most negotiations and negotiations are proceeding as expected.

The parties will be meeting again next Monday, March 24th, and currently have additional negotiating sessions scheduled for April 1, 2, 9, 10, 23, 24, 25 and May 6, 7, 14, 15 and 16. During these meetings Vons will continue to use our best efforts to complete these negotiations in a timely manner and negotiate a new contract that is fair to you and also allows your Company to continue to successfully compete in the Southern California market during these difficult economic times.

March 7, 2014

As you know, Vons, along with representatives of Albertsons and Ralphs, have been meeting with the Southern California UFCW Locals for the last month in order to negotiate a new contract covering you and our stores throughout Southern California. We met with the Locals on February 7th and again on February 14th to receive and then discuss the Locals’ opening proposals. Yesterday, March 6th, we met with the Locals again and presented them with the initial Employer proposals. We currently have additional negotiating sessions scheduled for March 18, 19 and 24 and April 1, 2, 9 and 10.

As is the case in most negotiations, we expect our next few bargaining sessions will focus primarily on discussing proposals from both sides dealing with store operational issues, contract language and other general working conditions. Particularly in negotiations like these, where we are all facing a very competitive environment due to the ever growing number of low-cost non-union discounters, mass merchants and drug retailers all expanding their presence in the retail food business, these initial discussions are important and will set the tone for the rest of our negotiations.

As in the past, Vons will seriously consider legitimate issues raised by the Locals and we expect the Locals to do the same in considering legitimate issues put forth by the Employers. We have successfully addressed similar issues in other negotiations all across the country over the last few years and, with some hard work by both sides, we fully expect to be able to do the same thing here in Southern California.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to stay focused on serving and taking care of our customers. Satisfying all of our customers each and every time they visit our stores must remain our number one priority during this critical time.

Thank you for all you are doing every day to make Vons a great place for our customers to shop.


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