Despite growing economic anxiety, historic rates of inflation and pending fears of recession brought on by rising food and consumer prices, Kroger and Albertsons continue to tout the supposed benefits of a corporate merger that would create one of the largest supermarket companies in the world. The big question Santa Fe citizens need to ask themselves is this: Who will truly benefit from such a merger? Customers and essential grocery workers, or the Kroger and Albertsons corporate leaders?

The problem for Kroger and Albertsons: When you look at the available facts, all those who truly care about our local communities across New Mexico should be deeply concerned. Consider a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute that found the merger will lower wages for 746,000 grocery store workers in over 50 metropolitan areas of the U.S. Even worse, grocery workers could lose more than $300 million in wages each year if the proposed merger went through due to lack of competition. In total, this would result in lost wages for these essential workers and would negatively impact wages for all grocery workers — regardless of whether they are employed by Kroger or Albertsons.

Additionally, the United Food & Commercial Workers union — which represents hundreds of thousands of essential grocery workers, including New Mexico here in Santa Fe — has for months been working tirelessly to make an independent assessment of the proposed merger and how it will affect our communities, our customers, our members and all essential grocery workers. The problem is that our panel of independent experts can’t fully analyze the impact of the Kroger and Albertsons merger because these companies continue to deny, delay and block providing the very data that would prove this merger’s benefits.

Greg Frazier is president of United Food & Commercial Workers of New Mexico.

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