Albertsons, Vons shifting to third-party grocery delivery in California, elsewhere

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Albertsons, Vons shifting to third-party grocery delivery in California, elsewhere


In one of the first signs of the broad effects of the passage of Proposition 22 in California, Albertsons Cos. confirmed Monday that it’s moving away from doing its own grocery delivery in Southern California and toward using third-party delivery services.

Albertsons
ACI,
-2.62%
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whose subsidiaries include grocery stores Vons, Pavilions and Safeway, decided on the shift in early December, according to a spokesman.

“Albertsons Companies made the strategic decision to discontinue using our own home delivery fleet of trucks in select locations, including Southern California, beginning February 27, 2021,” said spokesman Andrew Whelan in an emailed statement. “We will transition that portion of our eCommerce operations to third-party logistics providers who specialize in that service.”

The news was first reported Monday by Knock.LA, which noted that many drivers for the Albertsons companies are union workers.

Whelan did not specify how many workers are affected but said, “Our HR teams are working to place impacted associates in stores, plants, and distribution centers.”

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

California voters passed Proposition 22 in November. It exempts app-based gig companies from a law that would’ve required them to treat their drivers and delivery workers as employees, allowing them to continue classifying them as independent contractors. Workers and others who opposed the ballot measure — which was backed to the tune of more than $200 million by companies that do deliveries, such as Instacart, Uber Technologies Inc.
UBER,
+0.27%

and DoorDash Inc.
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-2.49%

— had warned that it could affect employees in other industries.

See: Researchers fear gig work will spread to grocery industry as demand for delivery surges

Albertsons, the nation’s second-largest grocer, has had a delivery partnership with Instacart since 2017.

The state has not received any WARN Act notices from Albertsons, according to a California Employment Development Department employee. The WARN Act usually requires employers to give workers 60 days notice in case of a layoff affecting at least 50 workers, or relocations of a business if at least 100 miles away. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that allows companies to give as much advance notice as possible.



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