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Armonk A&P Employees File Labor Complaints

ARMONK, N.Y. - Three A&P employees have filed complaints with the New York State Department of Labor over terms of their continued employment with the supermarket chain once the Armonk store closes.

Joseph Suarez, a deli manager from Fishkill who will leave A&P after it closes on Feb. 15, was the only employee who gave his name because the other two plan on staying. All three said wages will be reduced by as much as $8 an hour for employees who transfer to other A&P stores.

The employees also said they weren't provided with enough time to make a decision about whether they would stay at A&P. Suarez said they were notified of the store closing on Jan. 9 and on Jan. 23 were told they had until the end of the day to make a decision about staying.

"They offered me a new position stocking shelves in Yonkers, which is a long distance from home and almost $7 dollars an hour less," he said.

The employees claimed United Food & Commercial Workers Local 464A, the union that represents every member of the A&P staff except managers, failed to help the employees.

"We didn't know the concessions until we had to vote and they strong-armed us to vote for the contract," Suarez said.

John Niccollai, the union president, said employees who transfer to similar jobs should get the same pay, but if they transfer to different jobs there could be pay cuts.

"If the same position isn't available at the new store, the pay rate could change," he said. "We have a company in trouble with store closings, but we're trying to do our best to keep people working and save jobs."

Marcy Conner, an A&P spokesperson, said 34 out of 40 associates in Armonk accepted a position in another store.

Leo Rosales, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Labor, said the agency did get some complaints from Armonk A&P workers and are looking into them. Rosales declined to say when the department would respond to the complaints or what action it might take.

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