(Photo: Trevor McCarthy who works at Safeway in North Longmont speaks to AG Weiser during the meeting in Longmont on Tuesday April 25, 2023. Credit: Maeve Conran)
Colorado’s Attorney General Phil Weiser has been visiting communities around Colorado who could be impacted by the possible merger of two large grocery chains. Kroger, which owns City Market and King Soopers, announced plans to acquire Albertsons, which owns Safeway, for nearly $25 billion last October. Weiser was in Longmont yesterday as part of his state-wide listening tour. Rocky Mountain Community Radio’s Maeve Conran reports.
Colorado’s Attorney General Phil Weiser has been visiting communities around Colorado who could be impacted by the possible merger of two large grocery chains.
Kroger, which owns City Market and King Soopers, announced plans to acquire Albertsons, which owns Safeway, for nearly $25 billion last October.
Weiser was in Longmont Tuesday as part of his state-wide listening tour.
Previous stops on the tour have included Gunnison, Denver and a stop in Golden on Monday evening.
Weiser said Longmont was selected due to the community response on the issue.
“We put out a public link and asked people for comments and one of the top places we got comments was Longmont, which made me think ‘people here are concerned, I want to hear directly from the people.'”
About 25 people showed up to Longmont High on Tuesday afternoon, a mixture of current and former employees of local Safeway and King Soopers stores, as well as consumers.
Trevor McCarthy works in curbside pickup at Safeway on North Hover in Longmont. .
He says the union has a strong presence there and he’s concerned what would happen if Safeway merged with Kroger, the parent company of King Soopers.
“We could potentially wind up losing lots of benefits, our wages could go down, assuming again that we’re even able to keep our jobs. They might wind up shutting us entirely because they don’t want to deal with a union,” he said.
Weiser says he’s heard from grocery workers across the state who share similar concerns about their jobs, benefits and pensions.
There are two Safeway stores and three King Soopers stores in Longmont. Several in attendance at Longmont High said they were consumers who were concerned about a loss of choice and an increase in grocery prices if any of those stores close due to a merger.
In addition to concerns about food prices, AG Weiser said many Coloradans rely on King Soopers and Safeway for pharmacy services. He said he heard from several people at the community meeting in Golden that there are real concerns for what a merger might mean for those services.
“It’s a different sort of concern because it’s about medication, but it’s also about having choices and about having a resilient option,” said Weiser.
Weiser says he wants to hear from as many Coloradans as possible, before deciding early next year whether to challenge the merger in court.
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