Er zit mogelijk een aspect DELHAIZE-FOOD LION vs. UFCW Union (USA) aan de zaak. De United Food & Commercial Workers Union heeft volgens persbericht gepoogd 'Food Lion' in de USA kapot te maken. De werknemers van Food Lion waren nl. niet aangesloten bij de UFCW, zoals bijna alle anderen uit die branche. Reden: FL betaalde ook zonder druk van de Union betere lonen dan de concurrentie. Dus bleef het FL personeel uit eigen beweging weg uit de UFCW. Dit zat UFCW bijzonder dwars. Daarop heeft UFCW  met alle middelen geprobeerd Food Lion kapot te maken (midden 80's).

Belangrijke opmerking: De Amerikaanse 'Unions' hebben GEEN SOCIALE/socialistische achtergrond, zoals de Europese 'vakbonden/syndicaten' die wel hebben. Integendeel, de Unions zijn instrumenten om de zogenaamde 'vrije markt' te beschermen en stakingen te verhinderen. Stakingen zijn namelijk on-Amerikaans, want links of zelfs communistisch! De Unions werden getolereerd ook al waren het in realiteit 'rackets' die eerst de arbeiders onder druk zetten om lid te worden (jaarlijks lidgeld = miljoenen $). Vervolgens werden de werkgevers afgeperst om de lonen te verhogen. Op deze manier waren de Unions instrumenten van een rechtse politiek, die verhinderden dat arbeiders zich in linkse vakbonden zouden verenigen. De Unions gingen heel ver: fysiek geweld en bomaanslagen waren geen taboe.

Denk aan de reactie van Reagan, die 11.000 stakende luchtverkeersleiders gewoon hun ONTSLAG gaf. Stakingen zijn on-Amerikaans! De Unions werden ook in het buitenland ingezet in de strijd tegen het communisme, vooral in Centraal en Latijns Amerika, waar de inmengingen van het het AFL-CIO (ook wel AFL-CIA genoemd) en AIFLD groteske proporties aannamen (in samenwerking met CIA, WACL, Opus Dei, grote multinationals etc..). Dit is alles goed gedocumenteerd. Maar Food Lion gaf niet toe en zette zijn beleid verder. Met succes. Na 1987 kende het bedrijf een snelle groei met een onveranderde personeelspolitiek.

UFCW kon dit niet verkroppen. In 1992 kwam de wraakactie. ABC televisie zond een reportage uit waarin te zien was hoe Food Lion personeel etiketten (met vervaldag) overkleefde om niet-verse eetwaren toch te kunnen verkopen. De reactie was enorm: de koers van de FL aandelen kelderde, de klanten bleven weg, tientallen filialen moesten worden gesloten. Toen werd echter bekend dat de ABC reportage in scène was gezet door UFCW en omgekochte personeelsleden van FL. Voor de rechtbank kreeg FL een schadevergoeding van 300 Milj $ toegewezen.

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Quote uit 'Undercover reporters, Tort Law, ...' van David Levin, Alan Roline:

The United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) began a campaign to organize Food Lion employees about 1980. The UFCW publicly acknowledged that its goal was to unionize Food Lion or put it out of business. In August 1990, the UFCW called for a boycott of Food Lion's stores to protest Food Lion's opposition to the union.

During its unionization campaign, the UFCW spurred several administrative or legislative investigations by various governmental authorities by alleging violations of law by Food Lion. For example, in September 1991, the UFCW filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor accusing Food Lion of tacitly encouraging employees to work "off the clock" without pay. In October 1991 the Labor Department began an investigation of Food Lion.

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Andere Delhaize-denkpistes (vergezocht, toegegeven):

  • In België waren enkele belangrijke anti-linkse katholieke figuren aandeelhouders en/of medebestuurders van de groep GB-INNO, concurrent van Delhaize/Colruyt.

  • Is het denkbaar dat een privé-veiligheidsdienst à la Wackenhut Delhaize enkele overtuigende argumenten wou 'toedienen' om hun warenhuizen (in de USA) te laten bewaken?


The war against Food Lion, Phase II

The death struggle between the Food Lion supermarket chain and the grocery store unions goes on, as labor does its best to destroy a business that it wasn't able to unionize. As part of its strategy to ruin Food Lion, the unions handed a trumped-up story of unsafe food-handling to the ABC news show "PrimeTime Live." Diane Sawyer and her producers worked hand-in-hand with the union, and then did their best to pretend that it had little or no role in the broadcast.

The story, which was presented as "investigative" journalism, hit Food Lion hard - so hard that the chain is closing 88 stores this year. More than 1,300 full-time workers will lose their jobs and 2,200 part-time employees will have to look for work. The union's strategy is working, and now that it has Food Lion on the ropes, it is trying to throw a knock-out punch, this time by alleging that the store sells unsafe baby formula.

That's hardball. It's one thing to plant a story! that a grocery store is selling old fish the stench of which has been removed with Clorox, but another thing altogether to say that there is bad baby food on the shelves.

This charge is part of an official "corporate campaign" launched by the United Food and Commercial Workers International and other food service unions against Food Lion. With a corporate campaign, as union literature brashly explains, labor can put recalcitrant food stores out of business by leaking safety and health charges to the media. The UFCW launched its corporate campaign after failing repeatedly to convince Food Lion workers they would be better off in the union. That failure did not mean solely a loss in union dues; it was a direct threat to the inflated union wages and diseconomic work rules that the UFCW has wheedled out of other grocery chains, such as Safeway and Giant.

Because of cheaper, more efficient workers, Food Lion is able to price its goods cheaper than other chains. In ord! er to compete, those chains must then renegotiate their contracts with the union. In this way, the other grocery stores become accomplices in the union's corporate campaigns against non-union upstarts. When Food Lion announced last year it would begin opening stores in the Washington area, officials at Safeway and Giant made it clear to the UFCW that it would have to do something about the threatened competition. Who said labor and manageme nt can't work together?

For a truly successful corporate campaign, however, the unions can't come out and make charges themselves. It would be obvious to everyone that union complaints about a non-union shop might be a little biased and self-serving. And so it was that a previously unheard of outfit called "Consumers United with Employees" (CUE) went to the Food and Drug Administration last week with its complaint that Food Lion has expired infant formula for sale. This "consumer" organization is of course a front group, run out of the offices of the Food and Allied Services Trades union.

The CUE "report" - as propaganda is euphemistically referred to in the press these days - was called "A Formula for Disaster" and was full of apocalyptic language. According to the CUE press release, "The study details the shocking results of an investigation concluding that Food Lion . . . has repeatedly sold infant formula beyond its expiration date. Such sales violate both state and federal law." These "shocking" results are actually just a compilation of year's worth of regular state food inspection reports in which Food Lion had the sort of trivial violations that are common in the industry. Though it sounds frightening that baby formula has gone past its due date, the date is there not to indicate when the formula goes "bad" but just a s a limit on the length of time the manufacturer will guarantee its nutritional content. Also note that the CUE did not compile statistics on the number of infant formula violations in union shops, though such a comparison would be! most instructive.

The union front group also did some rudimenta ry investigative work itself, going to Food Lion stores and looking for any past-date baby formula. The group "found that 37.5 percent of the 317 stores visited were selling outdated infant formula." This is a wonderfully misleading statistical backflip. The impression given is that more than a third of the baby food sold by Food Lion has gone bad. All the figure really means is that in a third of the stores the union group "inspected," it was able to find at least one can of formula that had gone at least one date past due and hadn't yet been removed.

Even if that finding is enough to cause concern, given the unions' stake in ruining Food Lion, it's at least worth investigating all the possible ways past-dated formula might have ended up on shelves. For example, it would not be a difficult thing to go into a store, put a can of some time-sensitive product at the back of the shelf - mixed in with the most recent and later-dated shipment. A week later, someone migh! t come back to find that the can was still there, past its due date and an affront to food safety.

The corporate campaign against Food Lion amounts to little more than a large-scale dirty trick. The real story here has nothing to do with infant formula and everything to do with a high-stakes, big-money gambit to kill off competition.

Bron: The Washington Times | February 7, 1994

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Part I: A Union's Revenge

A dirty secret which ABC News did not share with its audience was the origins of the scheme to smear Food Lion. ABC producers wittingly became accomplices of the powerful United Food and Commercial Workers union in a campaign intended to destroy the grocery chain.

Food Lion is an uncomfortable bone in the throat of the UFCW. The company began in 1957 as a single store [Food Town] in Salisbury, N. C., and its low price policy enabled it to grow to 22 stores in 1974, all in North Carolina. It was bought that year by Delhaize, a European supermarket chain, and expanded rapidly under the new name of Food Lion to more than 1,000 stores in 1994, with 65,500 employees and gross annual sales of $8.2 billion. A $1,000 investment in 1957 would have matured into stocks worth $31,200,000 by 1992. The company claims that its prices average 15 percent lower than competitors.

The burgeoning giant was an attractive target for the UFCW, with 1,123,000 members [1979] in food stores, supermarkets and meat packing houses. Under federal law, 30 percent of workers had to

sign cards asking the National Labor Relations Board to hold a representation election. But workers who already earned salaries and benefits equal to or higher than those at unionized stories saw no reason to pay dues to the UFCW. The campaign flopped. The UFCW fell far short of the 30 percent minimum and abandoned its campaign.

The UFCW's embarrassing failure followed a trend distressing to labor barons--the fact that workers no longer consider unions relevant. Membership has declined to less than 15 percent of the work force in 1996 from a peak of 35.4 percent in 1945. Of the 16.4 million workers in unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO, 6.9 million work for local state and federal governments.

Nonetheless, even in defeat the UFCW wanted revenge. With much public fanfare, the UFCW launched what labor people call a "corporate campaign"--to punish Food Lion and its owners because employees refused to unionize. The UFCW's motive was economic. If non-union sentiment spread beyond Food Lion, the union risked losing dues income from workers in other chains. By hurting Food Lion, the UFCW would bolster the market shares of other chains, thereby expanding its own membership.

The UFCW's strategy was not any great secret. William H. Wynn, the UFCW president, told Progressive Grocer magazine in January 1986, "Our goal is simple: to hurt the employer economically."

Another union official, Thomas McNutt, Sr., told Regardie's, a Washington business magazine, in July 1988, that the UFCW intended to "bleed" Food Lion economically "until they either agree to do business with him or are forced out of business." Regardie's quoted McNutt as saying, "If we can't organize them, the best thing to do is to erode their business as much as possible."

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