OPERATIONS

Michigan Rite Aid workers ratify union agreement

BY Dan Berthiaume

Camp Hill, Pa. – Rite Aid pharmacy workers in 77 stores across the state of Michigan have voted to ratify a new, three-year agreement negotiated by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 876, and the Rite Aid Bargaining Committee. The agreement guarantees 7% wage increases for all 792 union members; provides both pension and healthcare benefits; and preserves all current holiday, vacation and personal days.

"The legislative environment toward worker protections has been extremely turbulent throughout the country, to say the least," said Roger Robinson, UFCW 876 president. "This contract, and the solidarity of Rite Aid union members across Michigan, stand as a measure of a heighten awareness for the middle class. They are well aware they are under corporate attack; and the actions taken today to secure a solid contract were the only way to guarantee protections and benefits for their families."

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FINANCE

Safeway completes Blackhawk spinoff

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pleasanton, Calif. – Safeway Inc. has completed the distribution to its stockholders of 37.8 million shares of Class B common stock of Blackhawk Networks Holdings Inc. owned by Safeway. After the completion of the distribution, Safeway no longer owns any shares of Class B common stock of Blackhawk.

The distribution by Safeway was made in the form of a pro rata common stock dividend, of its Class B common stock equity interest in Blackhawk to all Safeway stockholders of record on April 3. Safeway stockholders will receive cash in lieu of any fraction of a share of Blackhawk Class B common stock that they otherwise would have received. Starting on April 15, the when-issued market for Safeway common stock on the New York Stock Exchange will no longer be available.

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OPERATIONS

Sears Outlet Store names new owners

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Several Sears Outlet stores across the country have new owners. Locations in Oceanside, Ontario, and Corona, Calif., are now owned by Tony Lutfi. Lutfi and his team now own and operate 11 Sears Outlet stores, 17 Sears Home Appliance Showrooms and three Sears Appliance & Hardware Stores.

In addition, Sears Outlet stores Tempe and Gilbert, Ariz. have a new owner, Keith Edquist. Edquist also owns another Sears Outlet store and seven Sears Home Appliance Showrooms.

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