Breaking News Bar
updated: 4/20/2017 3:37 PM

Lawsuit seeks to block company from selling grocery stores

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
 

CHICAGO -- A Chicago-area labor union has filed a federal lawsuit to block a company from selling two grocery store chains in Illinois and Indiana to an unknown buyer.

Teamsters Union Local 703 represents about 300 warehouse workers of Central Grocers, a grocery cooperative based in Joliet. The union wants a judge to temporarily stop the company from selling its business, arguing that such a sale would violate collective bargaining agreements unless the purchaser adopted them.

The Chicago Tribune reports a public relations firm for Central Grocers largely declined comment, saying only that the company was "exploring strategic alternatives."

Central Grocers announced plans Tuesday to sell 22 Strack & Van Til stores in Illinois and Indiana. It also plans to close nine Ultra Foods stores, including some in the Chicago area.

The grocery cooperative, which was incorporated in 1917, operates as a wholesaler to independent grocery retailers in the Chicago area that are members of the co-op. The nine "underperforming" Ultra Foods stores include locations in Calumet Park, Chicago Heights, Forest Park, Joliet, Lansing and Wheaton.

Central Grocers said in a letter to co-op members in February that its board of directors hired New York-based Peter J. Solomon Co., an investment banking advisory firm, to consult.

"That process has produced several indications of interest from multiple parties hoping to expand their presence here in our marketplace," the letter said.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    Winner - 2015 Best Website
    Illinois Press Association
    Illinois Press Association