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FOOD LION TO CHALLENGE UFCW 'CORPORATE CAMPAIGN' AT CONGRESSIONAL HEARING

 FOOD LION TO CHALLENGE UFCW 'CORPORATE CAMPAIGN'
 AT CONGRESSIONAL HEARING
 WASHINGTON, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- John Watkins, senior vice president of the nation's fastest growing supermarket chain, Food Lion (NASDAQ-NMS: FDLN) will testify before the U.S. House of Representative's Government Operations Subcommittee on Employment and Housing, on the enforcement of wage and hour laws. The company flatly denies allegations in the committee's release that employees are forced to work "off the clock" or that any such practice is "rampant." The hearings are just the latest phase in the United Food & Commercial Worker's Union's (UFCW) "campaign" against Food Lion, which welcomes the opportunity to correct the half truths and innuendoes the UFCW has been promoting over the past decade.
 This hearing appears related to the Complaint which the United Food & Commercial workers Union (UFCW) filed against Food Lion with the Department of Labor on Sept. 11, 1991. This DOL complaint comes after an intensive media campaign urging current and former Food Lion employees to contact UFCW representatives through an 800 telephone number with complaints. Since then, the UFCW has sent numerous top union organizers throughout Food Lion's operating territory trying to stir up employment claims and lawsuits against Food Lion. After almost two years of aggressive solicitation, the UFCW has only generated 205 wage/hour claimants, approximately .2 percent of more than 100,000 current and former Food Lion employees working at over 890 stores in 12 states.
 Food Lion has numerous procedures for employers to report violations or suspicions of violations of "working off the clock." Food Lion has enforced the law against "working off the clock" vigorously and has implemented a most comprehensive enforcement program.
 The hearing will be held March 25, at 2247 Rayburn House Office Building beginning at 9:30 a.m.
 In announcing his participation in the hearing, Watkins said, "Food Lion employees, customers and shareholders have been suffering from the 'UFCW Corporate Campaign' since 1980, when the then-Food Town employees rejected the union. Since then, we have been the target of many of their favorite 'UFCW Corporate Campaign' techniques. Food Lion is proud of our organization and, even more so of our employees, and I am looking forward to testifying on March 25. Food Lion welcomes this opportunity to tell our story and set the record straight before Congress."
 The "UFCW Corporate Campaign" is a technique designed to pressure corporate management into accepting unionization or staying out of unionized territories, and similar tactics have been used against companies such as BASF Corp., Greyhound Lines, Inc., Nordstrom and Wal-Mart. The UFCW uses a variety of techniques in its "Corporate Campaign," including:
 -- encouraging consumers to boycott;
 -- hurling character assassinations against members of management;
 -- initiating administrative charges or other forms of litigation,
 and now,
 -- Congressional hearings.
 Over the past decade, some of the tactics used by the UFCW in its Corporate Campaign against Food Lion include:
 -- Calling on consumers to boycott the store because "foreign
 owners" were taking money out of the country when, in fact, the
 overwhelming bulk of the money generated by Food Lion's profits
 was reinvested back into the company, and more than 30,000 of
 the shareholders were in the U.S.;
 -- Claiming that Food Lion paid substandard wages and benefits to
 its employees, when, in fact, Food Lion's benefits were not only
 very competitive but in some cases higher than wages and benefits
 in certain UFCW contracts in areas where Food Lion competed.
 -- Conducting a wide-spread media campaign soliciting disgruntled
 employees to allege that Food Lion had forced them to "Work Off
 the Clock" -- or the practice of working without pay -- during
 their employment. Most claimants were found to be without merit
 whatsoever, and one had never even worked for Food Lion.
 -- Filing a lawsuit on behalf of a former employee who alleged top
 management was terminating employees to prevent their vesting in
 the company's extremely generous profit sharing retirement plan,
 even though the same year the employee was terminated 3,600
 employees did vest 100 percent.
 Food Lion is the nation's fastest growing supermarket chain operating 892 stores in 12 states. Annual sales in 1991 were $6.4 billion, an increase of $800 million from 1990. Each year the company adds 100 new stores creating 5,000-8,000 new jobs. The chain is headquartered in Salisbury, North Carolina.
 -0- 3/17/92 R
 /CONTACT: Jackie Clark or Pamela Kostmayer of Kostmayer Communications, 202-223-6655/
 (FDLN) CO: Food Lion ST: North Carolina IN: SU:


JM -- CH007 -- 9059 03/18/92 08:42 EST
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 18, 1992
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