Workers at the Safeway's Collington Distribution Center reacted with shock and anger Thursday when they were abruptly informed that the Center is being shut down by the end of May. "It's like a slap in the face to everyone, especially to the workers because they sacrificed for the company to stay here," said Ritchie Brooks, president of Teamsters Local 730, which represents warehouse workers. Safeway parent company Albertsons said that warehouse operations are being moved to a distribution center in Denver, Pennsylvania. The workers and local officials are especially frustrated because they made concessions and pledged financial incentives four years ago to keep the facility open. "Albertsons has had the benefit of those cost savings these past years," said Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation President and CEO David Iannucci in a statement. "The company owes it to its workforce to explore every possible way to keep these jobs here in Maryland." The unions plan to fight the closure. "They told us no four years ago, and we kept it open," said Local 730's Tyrone Richardson. The move by Safeway follows last month's closing or sale of Shoppers Food stores around the region, affecting hundreds of UFCW 400 workers.
- Excerpted from a report on WJLA; photo: Teamsters 730 in October 2015, after launching an online petition urging Safeway to delay its decision to close its local distribution center