Fighting the merger: Illinois AG Kwame Raoul Sues to Block $4B Payout to Albertsons Shareholders

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul addresses members at the Local 881 Steward Conference in 2018.

When the potential merger announcement was made by employers Albertsons and Kroger, Local 881 and other UFCW Locals from around the country quickly condemned the harmful proposal and called on all lawmakers and regulators to stop the merger.

As if the merger deal wasn’t bad enough for workers and consumers, Albertson’s also planned a shareholder payout on November 7 of a “special cash dividend” of up to $4 billion, which by the way, is equivalent to more than two years of profits for the company!

Local 881 President Steve Powell immediately met twice with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and his anti-trust division to express concerns about the potential negative impact on workers at Jewel and Mariano’s. President Powell urged the Attorney General to act on behalf of hard working Local 881 members, who create the real value for Albertsons and Kroger, not Wall Street shareholders.

Attorney General Raoul is joining the attorneys general of
California and the District of Columbia in suing Albertsons and Kroger. The lawsuit aims to stop the payout to shareholders until the attorneys general complete a full review of the proposed merger. The coalition of Attorney Generals agree that the merger and payout could lead to even higher food prices at a time when many families across the country are struggling to put food on
the table. They are also examining whether these actions could reduce union jobs and hurt the wages and benefits of workers.

Local 881 applauds the Attorney General for standing up for Local 881 members and taking bold action against blatant corporate greed. A rich payout for stockholders is deplorable, especially at a time when focus should be placed on lowering prices for our communities and investing in the essential workers that allowed the stores to prosper during Covid.

Local 881 also applauds Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky for speaking out against the merger and shareholder payment:

“Given the parties’ records of raising food prices for consumers and cutting benefits to workers to pad their own profits, and the unusual circumstances of a $4 billion dividend payment that
will be paid out by Albertsons in early November, the FTC should oppose this proposed merger.” – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

Local 881 does everything we can to make sure elected officials do the right thing for Local 881 members. We actively engage our elected representatives on essential workers’ issues and our legislative and regulatory priorities. We know that politics can have a strong impact on Local 881 members and their families, and we will not stop fighting to make sure your voice is heard.

Read more about the lawsuit:

Official Statement from Illinois Attorney General Raoul:
Attorney General Raoul Files Lawsuit to Halt $4 Billion Payout to Albertsons Shareholders
Payout Would Financially Decimate Albertsons Before Merger Review is Complete

Official Statement from Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky:
Schakowsky, Warren, Sanders to Chair Lina Khan: The FTC Should Oppose Proposed Kroger-Albertsons Deal

WTTW News:
State Attorneys General, Including Illinois’, Sue to Block Albertsons’ $4B Payout Ahead of Grocery Chain Merger

New York Times:
Attorneys General Sue to Stop Dividend Tied to Kroger-Albertsons Deal

American Economic Liberties Project:
State Attorneys General are Right to Fight Private Equity’s Kroger-Albertsons Scheme