In a letter sent today, seven State Treasurers are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to oppose the proposed merger between major grocery chains Kroger and Albertsons. The Treasurers believe the merger poses a significant threat to the well-being of workers and state economies, and expressed deep concern and strong opposition to the consolidation between two of the largest grocery store chains in the United States. Read and download the full letter here.
The letter was signed by:
Dave Young, Colorado State Treasurer
Colleen Davis, Delaware State Treasurer
Henry Beck, Maine State Treasurer
Deborah Goldberg, Massachusetts State Treasurer and Receiver-General
Zach Conine, Nevada State Treasurer
Laura Montoya, New Mexico State Treasurer
Mike Pellicciotti, Washington State Treasurer
*Washington State Treasurer Pellicciotti has signed on solely in his official capacity as a state treasurer.
The proposed merger has raised concerns regarding reduced competition, potential price increases, and detrimental effects on grocery store workers’ wages. A study from the Economic Policy Institute, found that the merger between Kroger and Albertsons could result in a staggering total loss of $334 million in wages for over 746,000 grocery store workers across more than 50 metropolitan areas. This loss translates to an average annual wage decrease of approximately $450 per worker.
In the letter, the Treasurers state that the merger could “have significant adverse effects on the financial well-being” of workers and state economies, and note the potential wage losses could “extend beyond individual workers and their ability to sustain themselves and their families, they would also have broader consequences for the economies of our states and municipalities.”
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union shares concerns about the potential negative impact on workers. UFCW International President Marc Perrone said “The UFCW applauds the seven State Treasurers on this letter for listening to their local communities and our members and taking a strong stand against the Kroger Albertsons megamerger. Make no mistake about it, a merger of this scale is a serious threat to both essential workers and the customers and communities they serve. If the FTC allows this merger to go through, it will likely mean higher food prices for hard-working families, job loss and less access to food and prescription medicine for underserved, minority, and rural communities. We are in total agreement with these State Treasurers, the FTC must stop this anti-competitive megamerger from proceeding.”
The Treasurers assert in the letter that “the consolidation of the chains would diminish workers' ability to organize and negotiate for better wages and working conditions,” stressing that by “reducing the number of outside options available to workers, the merger would significantly limit competition in hiring and retaining employees, undermining their bargaining power.”
In addition to the potential harm to workers’ livelihoods, the consolidation of Kroger and Albertsons could have severe consequences for communities across the country. The creation of food deserts as a result of the merger, where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited, is a serious concern. Food deserts disproportionately impact vulnerable populations and can have severe health implications.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is currently reviewing the proposed merger and considering its potential impact on competition and consumers.