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Pleasanton-based Safeway merging with Boise-based Albertsons

Original post made on Mar 7, 2014

In a move that could have far-reaching implications for Pleasanton, Safeway Inc. and Albertsons announced a merger agreement for the two grocery chains yesterday under which the owner of Albertsons will buy all outstanding Safeway stock in a $9 billion deal.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 7, 2014, 6:18 AM

Comments (54)

Posted by been there, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 7, 2014 at 8:54 am

The group purchasing Safeway purchased Mervyn's and deliberately ran it into the ground. When they closed, it just closed and we received remaining vacation pay-three months later after a fight-and no severence. If you are working for Safeway now, run fast cause the jobs out there won't last. You will not want to work for these people. Take it from me.


Posted by Sue, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 7, 2014 at 9:53 am

I used to like Luckys, and when Albertsons bought it out, Luckys just wasn't the same and I quit shopping there. Now Luckys is back but it still isn't the same. I anticipate the same thing with a Safeway buyout. I think I will have to find a different place to shop. Disappointed.


Posted by Webeen Hosed, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2014 at 9:57 am

This is probably really bad news for Pleasanton. There will likely be a significant loss of jobs because the headquarters will be in Boise. The cost of living and wages is significantly lower there, so you can expect Cerberus to shift many jobs to Boise. It is also bound to degrade the shopping experience in Northern California. While I am not a big fan of Safeway, Albertsons is a big drop down. For decades, their stores have been pits. It looks like the shopping experience is going bi-modal. You can go to Whole Paycheck and the "organic" markets and pay outrageous prices, or you can go to Wal-Mart and Costco to get lower prices on limited offerings. I sure hope Raley's stays healthy for those of us that like full-line grocery stores that aren't pits (which the Safeway stores will likely become). Maybe we will still luck out a bit and Kroger will come in with a better offer for Safeway. Kroger's stores are better than Safeway and much, much, much better than Albertsons.


Posted by shopper, a resident of another community
on Mar 7, 2014 at 10:38 am

bummed about this. just as it seems i can find where things are, the new management will no doubt want to start moving aisles and messing with end displays and such. brand labels will change. stuff that i really like and buy
every week will go away. i hate it when stuff like this happens.


Posted by Pro-Law, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2014 at 10:44 am

Several articles have already said "the combined company headquarters" will be in Idaho. While they say there aren't immediate plans for Pleasanton it wouldn't make sense to have the double the corporate operations in two places when it can be consolidated into one in Idaho. Idaho's tax structure for business in more welcoming, and I'm confident the decisions to axe Pleasanton has already been made. It is just a matter of time to implement it all.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 7, 2014 at 12:01 pm

To add to "been there" comments, read the article by Business Week about the robbery of Mervyn's assets by the private equity firm Cerberus, Web Link . Title of the article is "How Private Equity Strangled Mervyns". First sentence is "Cerberus, Sun Capital, and Lubert-Adler stripped the 59-year-old retailer of its assets and threw 30,000 people out of work." If I was a Safeway employee I would really be thinking about jumping ship. This equity firm is the Darth Varder of equity firms. It destroys everything in its path on the quest of the almighty dollar.


Posted by Dan, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Mar 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Nothing good happens when a small company with a bad reputation buys a larger competitor with a decent reputation.


Posted by Thanks Reagan, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Prior to Ronald Reagan and his deregulation policies, this type of takeover was largely unheard of. An awful outfit like Cerberus would have been kept in check in the past. You can thank republicans and the corporate control of our government for this wonderful news. This is their idea of a "free market". Pleasantonians are too busy attacking public school teachers and whining about unions to notice this fact. Really sad.


Posted by Come on, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 7, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Thanks Reagan,

You should check your facts before giving an opinion. Cerberus was started by Steve Feinberg in the 90's after Reagan. Feinberg is a democrat and donated heavily to both Obama campaigns. The only color important to both the Democrats and Republicans is "green" as in getting themselves rich. Safeway has been going downhill for years. The headquarters of the entire company will be in Idaho. Just think about the tax savings of paying Idaho taxes rather than California taxes. Pleasanton headquarters will be closed. The bigger question is which of the 3 stores will be closed in Pleasanton?


Posted by Sirena, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 7, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Lucky has the worse deli and bakery. Has anyone looked at their pastas and potato salads? Brown on top. Hopefully Lucky's adopts Safeway's standards. Never a big wait at Safeway even though it is packed. Luckys clerks are nice, but their hands are tied. Most of the time they have only one checker. Looks like I might be shopping at Raley's too...


Posted by kbenson, a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Mar 7, 2014 at 7:38 pm

I agree with several of the posters here-

1st - Keeping HQ in Pleasanton is too expensive. They will eventually close it down (cost savings and tax breaks are better in Idaho. The buyers already dropped a ton of cash on the purchase and will need to get quick return on investment)
2nd- Pleasanton/Dublin already over saturated with Safeway stores. I predict at least 1 closure.


Posted by won't matter, a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 8, 2014 at 10:06 am

This merger will be moot in a couple years.
Obama and his Marxist Democrat Congresspeople will nationalize grocery stores.
We will then experience the food shortages that Venezuela is currently facing.

article: Web Link


Posted by Truth, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 8, 2014 at 10:38 pm

Smart move....leave California as fast as possible...good for the stock holders! If more of this happened then California liberals may wake up......on second thought...they will spin it as a positive stating we now have less of a carbon footprint because more people left California...retards.


Posted by Angela Torres, a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 8, 2014 at 10:56 pm

I am a former employee of Safeways corporate office in Pleasanton for
which I spent six years as an Analyst. I am saddened by the news
that this retail giant is now in such a financial crunch that it can
no longer stand on its own. I sat in the auditorium last summer when
the new CEO was formerly introduced by the old CEO. Mr. Edwards
immediately threw his tie into the audience as a way of adopting a new
more "relaxed" dress code.

I wonder if he also knew he was adopting a company that would soon go
under water. Maybe Mr. Byrd knowingly jumped shipped just before it
capsized. Interesting! Hopefully Kroger stills has time to bid
during this 3 week "go shopping" period while Safeway can still
entertain other offers.


Posted by Registered Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2014 at 3:41 pm

The acquisition has zero to do with HQ in Pleasanton or CA or elsewhere. SWY by itself is a $35B+ company, and by far the largest costs are labor and cost of goods sold. The combined company will be able to leverage its position to drive lower goods prices, on a par with Kroger and Walmart. There is very little overlap in the geographies served by the two chains.


Posted by Wiggely Piggs, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Prior to come-and-get-your-stale-vegetables Walmart Food Store opening, various threads were overrun by those complaining about Safeway being soooo bad for Pleasanton. Guess something must've changed. Now, suddenly, Safeway has 'great selection', 'polite and willing to please workers', and 'reasonable prices'. Wow.


Posted by Membername, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Mar 9, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Quite from the Contra Costa Business Times 3/6/14
Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne was taken by surprise by Thursday's announcement, saying city leaders are in the process of setting up meetings with officials from Safeway and Cerberus Capital Management, the parent company of Albertson's. He said they want to see what steps can be taken to soften the blow on the local economy.
This buy out has been in the news for weeks. Maybe Thorne is too busy going to DC to get money for the local radio station instead of protecting the jobs of the area's second largest employer.
Remember this guy is up for reelection this year.


Posted by steve, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Re Membername's comment just above: So true. How completely clueless can a politician be? He should be embarrassed.


Posted by City Council, a resident of Danville
on Mar 10, 2014 at 8:21 am

The whole City Council is clueless. They tax without concience, make it impossible foe businesses to move in, and concentrate on making people struggle to get a tree in their yard cut down. They take money from realtors to stuff their own pocketbook. Anyone seen Narum,'s new car. Popped up out of nowhere. Job pays well. Downtown stinks and business is way down because we got left in the dust by Livermore. Let's get some more banks in there and don't worry, the Farmer's market will save the day.


Posted by Webeen Hosed, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2014 at 8:44 am

I was shocked a Thorn's comments. Where in the heck has he had his head for the last month???!!! There is absolutely no excuse for the City to have been caught flatfooted by Safeway being acquired -- it's been in the news for at least two months.
Of course, last week we heard that the Mayor and the Council were "surprised" to learn that we didn't have to put more low-cost housing out by the dump. That after they have already approved low-cost housing for some really prime locations in Pleasanton.
Perhaps Thorne and the Council are too blinded by developers money to be paying attention to what is going on in the City they are supposed to be governing.


Posted by Registered Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2014 at 9:19 am

Reading some of these comments makes it seem as if local Pleasanton politics and politicians actually have influence on a company the size of Safeway. The combined Safeway / Albertson's will have around $85 billion in revenue each year. To put this into perspective, that's 475x the total Pleasanton annual city budget.


Posted by hip hip hooray for Raley's and Gene's Fine Foods, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 10, 2014 at 1:23 pm

I am sorry for the loss of jobs, but happy for Gene's and Raley's. They have hung in there to compete and found out that they really didn't have to compete after all. Gene's improvements have been stellar to say the least and Raley's continues to provide the neighborhood with exactly what they need. I am THRILLED to say so long Safeway but again am sorry for those in the community losing their jobs.


Posted by Anti-union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2014 at 2:54 pm

huh? Thanks R, you're spouting off without any understanding of what your statement meant. IF Repubs are the 'corporates' why is it private money is buying GIANT 'corporate' Safeway ?? You don't have a clue about business reality.
The FACTS are liberal CA, being run by over 60% DEM, veto-proof DEM legislature and senate in Sacramento (veto-proof means Dems can do & pass anything without a single Repub vote or opinion)!! With a big 'TAX BIG BAD BUSINESS ATTITUDE", that is also why very LIBERAL HOLLYWOOD, just RELOCATED The Tonight Show to NEW YORK CITY, why? because New York has all kinds of TAX INCENTIVES FOR BUSINESS TO MOVE into their state. !! The IDIOTS elected BY idiots to sit in Sacramento and come up with really bad punitive taxes on business. We keep telling our obnoxious unions there ARE LIMITS to the abuse residents, rich retirees, business, and Relocating companies are willing to take !! GET IT!
Everybody eventually loses when unions are in the picture, which is why the PUBLIC transportation PUBLIC UNIONS will ultimately not just harm California, but union members themselves. Ask some of the NEW non-union automakers. Ask the reforming education states. Wake up for your own good.


Posted by Mitt Romney, a resident of another community
on Mar 10, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Oh Dear! You mean I expanded and refurbished my San Diego/La Jolla mansion for nothing? How do I get out as soon as possible? Does my good golfer friend Phil Michelsen who recently just moved to Cali know about this? How could we have been so duped?

Signed,
Mitt and my Lil Lady, Ann


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2014 at 6:20 pm

I learned a lot more about leveraged buy-outs and equity funds during the last presidential election than I wanted to know. By studying the history of Bain (the Romney-created company), it seems there is a clear pattern to making as much money as Romney did via the equity business.

-- You use your existing money to do the buy. Of a company like Safeway.

-- You talk about and act upon major cost cutting, like layoffs, moving corp HQ, changing tax breaks, and all of a sudden those lower costs make the multiples look dramatically better (operating costs vs income). They aren't better, but they LOOK better. For the purpose of bank refi. Even though those lowered costs aren't sustainable or good business practices, it takes some time for that to manifest itself, and for a certain time it is possible for the Bain/Cerebrus types to refi the business, get their mitts on a huge chunk of cash, skim off a portion of that cash for "mgmt fees" or "handling fees" or whatever they want to call it.

-- This is the point at which Cerebrus will sell: after they have "reduced costs" so the business is on a declining trajectory, after they have done the refi, and after they have skimmed their cut.

-- What is left is a company that goes bankrupt, lots of people who were laid off, a local economy that has contracted because of the loss of local jobs/taxes, and a community that will no longer be served by the business that is just about to go bankrupt. Oh, and the Cerebrus guys have added a lot of cash to their Cayman Island accounts so they do not have to declare it as income or pay taxes on it. And they are off to do their next leveraged buyout, shouting "operating efficiencies" and "free-market forces" and how awful it will be to increase the minimum wage or fund food stamps or unemployment insurance or schools.

This is what Mitt did. This is what Bain did. Coming soon to Pleasanton and Safeway.

Look up the companies Bain made all the money off of. It's a sad and shameful story.


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2014 at 6:27 pm

I forgot to include, in my post above, that the bought company that is squeezed so hard and then refinanced is left with this huge unsustainable load of debt, the payments on which (in addition to having the company staff and resources gutted) make it impossible for the company to avoid going bankrupt. But that is not the concern of a Bain or a Cerebrus.


Posted by huh?, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Al,

have you stopped taking your meds. Cerberus is the broker in this deal not Bain. Cerberus was founded and is led by liberal Steve Feinberg. He is a major donor to Obama. What are you talking about?


Posted by local, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 10, 2014 at 8:18 pm

The city cannot really do anything to prevent the buy-out that is occurring. It is a business decision. The city has no horse in that race.

The outcome might end up ok for Pleasanton. We do not know. Look at Peoplesoft. When they sold to Oracle, some people were saying that the end is near. Oracle has kept jobs in Pleasanton and pays their property tax for their office space, the same as PeopleSoft did. Things will probably work out here. If the government gets involved, we know it probably will not work out.


Posted by Registered Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Safeway did compete, in fact it competed very well, which made it an attractive company to merge with. You think some other company wants to join forces with another that doesn't show promise? There are US several grocery chains that don't, and nobody is going around bidding for those.

Bain Capital, KKR, Carl Icahn, and others serve a valuable niche in the economy by financially engineering deals which would not have happened otherwise. Both Safeway and Albertson's will benefit by their merger in the long run, but neither had the capital to buy the other out. The end benefit will be a larger, more streamlined company, with a significantly larger economy of scale, that is better able to compete.

We don't have to look farther than Safeway itself to see a proof point. Not quite 30 years ago, Safeway, a struggling company at the time, was brought private by KKR, restructured and revamped, and brought back into the public market (stock, that is, not grocery) where it's done well for 20+ years. It is now half of the second-largest grocery chain in the country, behind only Kroger. Notwithstanding some of the other opinions in this thread, it's going to be around for a long, long time.

KKR, Bain, and the other capital firms are betting big on this merger. They will only succeed if the merged company is successful. It's not a cut-and-run in any sense of the imagination. Nobody profits if the company goes bankrupt.


Posted by what now joe?, a resident of Las Positas Garden Homes
on Mar 10, 2014 at 9:55 pm

ok, so what now joe? this fantastic merger that will streamline business and yadda, yadda, yadda. will i see lower prices at the registers? NO. will the employees get raises? NO. Will the multi-millionaire board of directors get fat bonuses and cushy buyouts? YES. AWESOME!

oh wait, next comes the failed reaganomics BS of trickle-down economics right?


Posted by Sam, a resident of Mission Park
on Mar 10, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Safeway stores will still be around on the West Coast, but there cannot be a duplicate of corporate positions. Realistically, The Albertson's management will be driving the direction of the merger and the location. The current corporate office may be downsized to a division office and the majority of leadership will probably be from Albertson's. Safeway needs good leadership along with brand development that is focused on the consumer's needs vs. CPG wants - so new management should be a positive for Safeway.


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2014 at 8:56 am

My understanding of how leveraged buyouts work is not based on the vision the equity folks present (efficiency, job creation, everything better): it's based on what actually happens.

Take the case of Toys R Us, about which WSJ says "The problems have their roots in a $6.6 billion leveraged buyout in 2005 that piled on the debt and left it beholden to three investor groups-—Bain, KKR, and Vornado."
Web Link

Read about the Drexel --> Stage Stores LBO by Bain that resulted in big bucks for Bain and bankruptcy for Drexel/Stage:
Web Link

The previous link also discusses the similar post-Bain bankruptcies of GST Steel and Dade. Look up Parker Pens in Wiki: it was bought up, outsourced abroad, the Janesville WI plant folded and laid everyone off, and Romney's VP candidate now lives in the house in Janesville that the president of Parker Pens used to own. Irony.

Does anyone think investment bankers, equity-fund managers, and leveraged buyout wizards are interested in improving grocery stores? They have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profits for their shareholders. And they DO max out those profits. But it's not a free lunch: someone pays. I have come to think it is us, the 99%ers.

If there are economies to be made at any of the firms we have discussed, don't you think the current management would be implementing them? Do you think the LBO wizards know how to improve the grocery business? "Economies of scale" is not a secret concept. The reality is that existing managers are often doing the best they can, given the realities of a specific business. But that doesn't mean that a LBO wizard can't squeeze them until their wheels fall off.
Which is how the short-term profits happen, go to the Cayman Islands, leaving the rest of us with lots of hidden costs.








Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2014 at 9:07 am

responding to "local," above re the hostile takeover of PeopleSoft by Oracle. That was accompanied by MANY layoffs, the impact of which was mitigated only by Duffield's softening the blow for his former employees by establishing a multimillion $ help fund. (Again, I have no connection with any of these firms, just an interested reader about the passing parade.)

If Workday had not re-emerged from the ashes, the PeopleSoft hostile takeover would be another similar sad story. It's only because the founders of PeopleSoft decided to try again with a new company that Pleasanton benefits (from the jobs/taxes created by Workday, not Oracle!).


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2014 at 12:13 pm

oh, look. Here's what KTVU says: "Make no mistake: the private equity and real estate firms buying Safeway mean to trim it down, maximize profits and ultimately sell it off."
Web Link


Posted by kbenson, a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Mar 11, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Spoke to a Safeway store employee today. He was not very happy about it. He assumes the worse.. i.e. store closures, layoff and pay cuts. (Not sure how that works with a Union) but I assume it (union) has little to know power when it comes to a buyout?


Posted by kbenson, a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Mar 11, 2014 at 1:31 pm

BTW - This can open up BIG opportunity for either Wallyworld or Target...maybe even Costco?

I see Safeway name change to Albertsons


Posted by Liberalism is a Plague, a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 11, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I always shopped at Safeway and was very pleased with its diverse product line, the quality of its produce, and the professionalism of its workers. Then I learned the store was infested with unionized workers. I never went back. I will not patronize a communist organization. And like all communist organizations, they aim to restrict basic human freedoms, like being able to work for a lower wage in unsafe working conditions.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Thank you for sharing libby...now give it a flush and join mommy


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2014 at 5:48 pm

The SF Comical said: "If Cerberus fails to revitalize Safeway, it still needs to give its investors some sort of return. As it so happens, Safeway does have plenty of valuable assets that could fetch an attractive price even if everything goes to Hades.

The company operates around 1,300 stores, mostly on the West Coast. Safeway owns about 48 percent of those locations and leases the rest, according to its annual filings. In addition, the company boasts 20 top-notch manufacturing plants and 13 distribution centers and warehouses.

"The land provides some value protection" in case the business deteriorates, said Ezra Perlman, a partner at Francisco Partners, a private equity firm in San Francisco. "There are certain things they can do to the assets that can boost value."

In other words: Sell! Sell! Sell!"

Web Link



Posted by Registered Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Al, as a Safeway shareholder, what would your choice be? Management came to the conclusion that if current trends continue, the company will falter and become less and less valuable as time goes on. You want to see your share value drop over time?

I don't think that you're comfortable with the idea that Safeway is owned by shareholders, each of whom have a financial stake in the company, each of whom is trying to make money on their investment. If you have a 401K with any stock funds I'll bet that you yourself are a shareholder.

Whether the new company succeeds depends entirely on the investments it makes in its business to draw customers in and to make a profit on each. (Yes there's the "profit" word again, as in "money," which are words to be respected instead of derided.) And as potential customers, all of us get a chance to vote with our pocketbooks. If the new owners are able to turn the company around, that is to say, if they're able to make it increasingly relevant and profitable, then they should get paid handsomely for their effort.

There are other ways to make money in the grocery business. At the time of the KKR acquisition of Safeway in the mid-80s, neither Trader Joe's nor Whole Foods existed in the forms that we're used to today. It's a highly competitive marketplace which demands unorthodox methods to stay alive.


Posted by Membername, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Mar 11, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Just a coda to my comment above re: Thorne - in 04-05 when Oracle did a hostile take over of Pleasanton based People Soft, the then mayor Jennifer Hosterman was all over that - immediately setting up meetings with Oracle.. . and guess what they're still here.
Just saying if this guy was on the ball, he'd have it covered.


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 8:53 am

To Registered Joe:

Of course a company must aim to satisfy its obligations to shareholders. I am questioning whether equity managers and leveraged-buyout wizards are the way to do that. The very name "Cerberus" suggests that the company knows and promotes its rapacious reputation -- the multi-headed Hound of Hell is going to restore sunshine to the grocery business?
Web Link

My point is that these LBO wizards are NOT aiming to restore prosperity and success to these grocery businesses (in spite of their pronouncements). They are aiming to do what has been done in the examples I cited above: squeeze them till their wheels fall off; but just before the wheels fall off, refi and take a big chunk of that money as a freebie for the shareholders, leaving the former Safeway/Albertsons folks with unsustainable debt; sell off the real estate for another freebie, which the link to the SF Chronicle piece describes; sell the whole mess again and leave the former companies unable to do anything but declare bankruptcy. The institution is then gutted, the grocery service they provided is no longer there for the community, the employees are dumped, but the shareholders (and esp the equity company shareholders) make enormous mega profits.

At the very least in this horrible scenario, there should be a little more benefit (or less hardship) to the 99% and a little less megabucks to the 1%.

If it is true that Safeway is out of confidence that it can make its business viable, them let's acknowledge that it's time to destroy the whole thing and change to a consumer model of only Gene's and Costco. But let's not delude ourselves that a thriving grocery business will emerge from the management of Cerberus. Again, I point to documented history for LBOs and not to self-serving theory as my basis for this view.


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 8:59 am

By the way, Registered Joe, if I were a Safeway shareholder who was dissatisfied with income and potential income, I would sell my shares and buy Workday.


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 11:14 am

Krugman on Bain: Web Link


Posted by Anti-union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm

The extreme right attacks of Miller's crowd against council members are very misplaced and clueless..and add absolutely nothing! Are you stupid enough to think anything a small town council might say would change corporate giants!...so misplaced...but you got you attack jollies off for the week.
A page could be written on the pathetic, partisan political nonsense written by union airhead activist Al. He's defensively lashing out because he must face the real destruction caused by greedy unions...sort of like parasites sucking out the host. The new market models are not for union mega markets. Time to join the 21st century. Today, it's only bought-off elected officials who support the union dinosaurs. Auto employees voted NO unions, new small markets say NO. Only stupid people destroy the hands that feed them.
Sadly gov Jerry will find that out too as our state will have a tough time competing with cost to do business. Like LIBERAL Hollywood moving to New York for 'business' dollars...cannot keep beating up on business...then NOBODY will have jobs. ...your fist might get all bloody when you hang on too tight, then the jar breaks.


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Unions have almost zero to do with leveraged buyouts. At least I saw no great role either way in the recent LBOs I have looked at.


Posted by Anti-union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 3:45 pm

It sure has to do with Safeway not meeting their numbers, not being able to 'compete'. They 'sold off' Chicago last year. Didn't save them. It's about being competitive....always the bottom line. Money, money, money. OPERATING COSTS ! hmmm, what could those be?


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Ah, yes. You'd like Safeway to pay a too-low wage to its employees, like Walmart does? I don't think we can balance the books by stiffing the staff. Not in any kind of long run. But it sure works great in the short run.


Posted by Anti-union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Trader Joes folks are really happy without 'union bargaining'. I saw safeway listed them, as not being able to compete with the new models likes Trader Joes, Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc. all non-union...Target too, which you always forget to mention Your hate just has you always and only picking on WalMart. welcome to the new world.


Posted by Mitt Romney, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Gosh golly, I mean Antiunion just makes so much sense. After all, are workers unionized in China? And to think we could have something similar. But with these darned communist labor unions contaminating the likes of Safeway, we'll probably never have what China has. (Big SIGH)

What makes matters worse is that stores like Trader Joes have to raise workers' wages in order to keep morale up. Because of those durned unions like at Safeway and RiteAid, the owners of Traders feel they have to be competitive.

That's not how it's done in China. That's not how it's done at Walmart. I like the Walmart model, because people should be free to work for subminimum wage if they want to. That's what they do at Walmart: it's called the 30-hour work week. I don't like the part about how most workers at Walmart are eligible for food stamps, but, heck, that's not Walmart's fault. That's the fault of our communist Obama government. You give people food stamps and you take away their soul. Most people would rather have their kids die of starvation than to have to lose their souls on account of food stamps.

If we were more like China, more people could be rich, like me. And I'd be even richer than I currently am. So, please, help Ann, me and the kids shore up our wealth and assets. Let's put these union communist upstarts in their place.

Good night, and God Bless America.


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 10:38 pm

Yeah, Mitt. Remember the Chinese factory you pointed us to? The one that has a barbed-wire perimeter (which you said was to keep OUT all the people who would love to work there and sleep 16 to a room? At least that's what they told you, and then you passed that good into on to us.)

So Mitt: tell us what was on those tax returns you did not want us to see? I'm betting it was all the extra money you made in part from your Bain-type leveraged buyouts, on which you didn't even have to pay much takes! Way less than 15%! You lucky devil to have it all figured out so well. Did the Cerberus people invite you in on this Safeway deal? Lots more money to be made here as we rip 'em and strip 'em. And meanwhile put forth the PR bafflegab for the little people. Hahaha -- Cerberus really loves that grocery business!


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Here's how Mitt and Bain made their money:
Web Link

This link mentions Cerberus thusly: ". . . Cerberus Capital Management . . . recently drove one of its targets into bankruptcy after saddling it with $2.3 billion in debt. . . ."


Yes, Mitt, we know you are familiar with Cerberus: "The beneficiary of the auto industry's financial rescue was the General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), which was renamed Ally Financial in May 2009. The company had been the lending arm of General Motors, but by the time of the bailout it had a new majority owner: the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, which had, incidentally, donated nearly $80,000 to Romney's 2008 Presidential campaign."
Web Link


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2014 at 4:24 am

The link that Bill (commenter #6, above) gave doesn't work, but thanks for giving the title, Bill. It's well worth reading because it's almost exactly similar to the examples I have posted here and others I have read about. Here it is:

Web Link

Well worth reading.


Posted by Al, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2014 at 11:23 am

Just shopped at Safeway, asked the checker about the buyout. Response: "Oh, it's okay, management tells us nothing is going to change."


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