Teamsters From Around D.C. Metro Region Rally for Justice at Giant Food

Mar 14, 2011, 17:07 ET from International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Supermarket Chain to Outsource Hundreds of Jobs Out of State

GREENBELT, Md., March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday, hundreds of workers from across the D.C. Metro region rallied at the Giant Food grocery store at the Beltway Shopping Plaza in Greenbelt, Md. to launch the campaign for Justice at Giant. The jobs of more than 600 area workers could be in jeopardy due to the plans of Giant Food, and its parent company, Netherlands-based Royal Ahold, to outsource its dry good grocery distribution. The work would move from a Giant warehouse in Maryland to a non-union C&S Wholesale Grocers location in Pennsylvania.

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Workers employed by Giant Food, represented by Teamsters Local Unions 730, 639 and 922 in the D.C. area and by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, held signs that read, "Giant Workers United: We Are Linking Up."  Balloons were handed out to customers' children that read, "Giant: Keep Good Jobs in Our Community."

Maryland State Commissioner of Labor Ron DeJulius addressed the crowd and spoke about the importance of keeping these good, middle-class jobs in Maryland and the greater D.C. metro region.

"I, Governor O'Malley and the Lieutenant Governor are 100 percent with you," DeJulius said. "We will do whatever it takes to save your jobs."

D.C. hip-hop star Head-Roc pumped up the rally attendees with a new song specially written for the occasion, titled "Giant Ain't The 'G' They Used to Be," which can be heard here.

"The Giant of today is not the locally-owned, community-friendly Giant of the past," said Ritchie Brooks, President of Teamsters Local Union 730, which represents Giant warehouse workers. "We know Giant and Royal Ahold are planning to outsource these jobs to a non-union out-of-state supplier, C&S Grocers. They're bringing in C&S to do their dirty work."

Garry Willett, a 25-year worker at the Giant warehouse, told the crowd that, "It is hurtful and disrespectful that Giant is making millions off of its local customers, and then turns around and tries to ship good jobs out of this community."

Workers from Woodbridge, New Jersey and Buffalo, New York, who have already seen their jobs outsourced by C&S Grocers, also attended the rally. Other speakers at the rally included representatives from Teamsters Local Union 264 in Buffalo, N.Y., UFCW Local 400, D.C. Jobs with Justice and Empower D.C.

Al Rispoli, President of Teamsters Local 863 in Woodbridge, N.J. attended the rally to lend his support.  

"This would not be the first time C&S has destroyed middle class jobs. In February, C&S closed a distribution center in Woodbridge, N.J. that supplied A&P supermarkets, costing an estimated loss of over 2,000 jobs," Rispoli said, and then addressed the Giant workers directly. "We are a family. We are still fighting, and we will stand by you."

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hard-working men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Go to www.teamster.org for more information.

SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters



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