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TEXT OF UFCW LETTER EXCERPTED ON ABC'S 'PRIMETIME LIVE,' NOV. 5

 TEXT OF UFCW LETTER EXCERPTED ON ABC'S 'PRIMETIME LIVE,' NOV. 5
 WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Food and Commercial Workers Union issued the following regarding Food Lion allegations:
 The UFCW appreciates the opportunity to respond to the charges made in "Food Lion's Response" to "PrimeTime Live's" segment about the grocery chain.
 Contrary to Food Lion's paranoia, the UFCW's involvement with ABC News concerning Food Lion was no different than our involvement with any of the numerous other news organizations that requested our assistance in investigating the many facets of Food Lion's dysfunctional corporate behavior. The UFCW simply referred to ABC News the names of some current and former Food Lion employees who might be willing to provide information concerning their personal experiences while employed with this company.
 ABC News exercised sole editorial control over the production of the Food Lion report on "PrimeTime Live." ABC News decided who it would interview and what questions would be asked. The UFCW did not participate, nor were any union representatives present, during any interviews. The UFCW will see any interviews for the first time when they are aired on "PrimeTime Live."
 The Food Lion employees that the UFCW has referred to the news media are not "angry" at the company. Rather, they are good, decent hard working Americans who have personally experienced wrongdoing by Food Lion and are willing to exercise their free speech rights to expose it. Many are long-term employees with exemplary work histories. "PrimeTime Live's" viewers can judge for themselves whether these individuals are telling the truth.
 Food Lion's tactic for dealing with bad news is to impugn the motives of the messenger. After conducting more than 4,000 interviews of Food Lion employees, the Bush administration's Department of Labor concluded that Food Lion had committed "substantial" violations of federal child labor and wage and hour laws. After hearing sworn testimony from Food Lion employees, a committee of the U.S. Congress urged the government to take strong action against Food Lion. Food Lion's response has been to attack the government and the Congress as being pawns of the UFCW -- a charge as ridiculous and without foundation as Food Lion's charge that ABC News is somehow a "tool" for the UFCW.
 Food Lion makes generous use of threats to discourage employees and the media from reporting the truth about Food Lion.
 Food Lion has engaged in a campaign of intimidation against employees who dare question its practices and against any media that dare report the truth. When the Dallas Morning News exposed Food Lion's practices that force employees to work off the clock, Food Lion's attorneys promptly threatened to take the reporter's deposition to force disclosure of her sources. When a Charlotte, N.C., weekly ran a story entitled "Something Rotten at Food Lion," Food Lion had the paper's stands removed from shopping centers where it has stores. When Fortune magazine ran a negative story about Tom Smith, Food Lion removed the magazine from its stores. This campaign of intimidation culminated with Food Lion's lawsuit against ABC News to prevent the American public from seeing this story.
 ABC News and the brave employees who came forward in the face of strong intimidation from a powerful employer are to be commended for not bowing to this pressure and for reporting the truth.
 The UFCW's goal and motivation are clear: To expose how Food Lion abuses its employees. Only the truth can force Food Lion to cease these practices, and only then will legitimate, law-abiding businesses and their employees be protected from unfair competition from this corporate renegade.
 -0- 11/6/92
 /CONTACT: Al Zack of the UFCW, 202-223-3111/ CO: United Food and Commercial Workers Union; Food Lion ST: District of Columbia IN: REA SU:


DC -- DC021 -- 8277 11/06/92 15:42 EST
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Date:Nov 6, 1992
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