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Grocery workers' union opposes King Soopers-Safeway merger as bosses testify to Senate subcommittee

Proposed merger between Safeway and Kroger goes before lawmakers
Proposed merger between Safeway and Kroger goes before lawmakers 02:21

The top bosses of King Soopers, which is owned by Kroger, and Safeway, which is under Albertsons, took their cases to merge their chains to a U.S. Senate anti-trust subcommittee.

Kroger's CEO Rodney McMullen told the hearing, "this merger will enhance competition lower prices enhance the customer experience and create investment in our associates."

But some unions want to block it. A news conference was held in Washington and Colorado.

Kim Cordova, president of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 7, recalled, "when Safeway and Albertsons merged, we heard the same thing we lost over 33 stores and in some areas of Colorado there are food deserts."

Andres Becerril, a Denver King Soopers employee, spoke at the news conference in D.C.

"Like my fellow grocery workers, I am scared of what this merger will mean to me as a worker and what will happen to my family if hundreds and hundreds of grocery stores close."

Combining the chains will lower prices, the grocery company executives promised, beginning on day one. And they insisted stores will not shut down.

Vivek Sankaran, the CEO of Albertsons said, "the proposed merger will help the local grocery stores that people love. Kroger will continue to be the staple of their local community."

Walmart has more than 20% of the grocery market. The companies hoping to merge find themselves hoping to catch up, in part, through stronger combined buying power.

This senate subcommittee has no direct power over the merger. The Federal Trade Commission must give its OK or try to block it.

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