WOODBRIDGE, N.J., Feb. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Workers at the C&S Wholesale Grocers warehouse here hope the company can look beyond the bottom line and see the human impact of their plan to shutdown the facilities on Saturday and move over 1,300 jobs out-of-state
“If this warehouse closes, it means the loss of more than 1,300 jobs,” said Al Rispoli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 863 in Mountainside, N.J.
Teamsters Local 863 represents the 1,300 workers at the C&S facilities in Avenel, an unincorporated area within Woodbridge. The Teamsters also represent thousands of workers that service other grocery chains throughout the United States – most notably several chains owned by the Dutch grocery retail giant, Royal Ahold, C&Ss largest customer and a competitor of A&P.
“These employees work hard every single day for C&S,” Rispoli said. “The human impact of shutting down the warehouse not only means job losses, but the financial security for thousands of New Jersey families.”
C&S warehouse in Woodbridge supplies A&P supermarkets throughout New Jersey. The closure will not only disrupt the local economies but A&Ps supply chain as well.
Teamsters Warehouse Division Director John Williams said union officials have been working with local and state leaders to convince C&S to put off its plan for 90 days so that everyone can sit down and discuss the situation and hopefully reach a positive outcome.
“The warehouse closure will have a ripple effect on the communities where these workers live,” said Williams. “We must do whatever we can to keep New Jerseyans working. And any company doing business in New Jersey must employ Jersey workers.”
Teamster member Louis Quaglia, a 20-year employee of Pathmark and C&S, said, he hopes the company realizes how many lives they are ruining if the warehouse is shut down.
“I have a wife and three children at home, and unemployment wont pay the bills. How will I pay for our health insurance? Im 47 years old and too young to retire. C&S and our elected leaders need to find a way to keep these jobs in New Jersey,” Quaglia said.
At a news conference today called by Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac, local, state, academic and labor leaders discussed the conclusions of a blue ribbon commission report titled “Economic Treason: Case Study of the C&S Wholesale Grocers and the Destruction of New Jersey Jobs.” The report, released today, concludes that the warehouse closure will have a severe impact on the local economies of Middlesex, Essex and Union counties, including businesses, real estate, and municipal budgets.
The economic impact study was written by the Center for Labor & Community Research upon request by a special Commission of Inquiry. The Commission was formed by Mayor McCormac to evaluate the economic and social impact of C&S Wholesale Grocers decision to close its Woodbridge facility and Grocery Haulers, Inc., and relocate its New Jersey-bound grocery distribution out of state.