2020 | Business

Business Notes: Union negotiates severance for former Shoppers workers

Plus: Federal Realty announces leadership promotions

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The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union negotiated a severance package for Shoppers grocery store employees who were laid off due to recent store closings

Photo by Dan Schere

Severance package negotiated for former Shoppers employees

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 400 reached a settlement last month with the parent company of Shoppers, United Natural Foods Inc (UNFI), on a severance package for recently laid off workers.

The union represents more than 35,000 workers across six states and Washington, D.C.

UNFI announced in December that it would close 12 Shoppers stores across Maryland, including those in North Bethesda, Wheaton and Takoma Park. According to the Maryland Department of Labor’s federal Work Adjustment and Retraining Notification log, there are more than 200 employees between the three stores.

The union stated on its website that the severance package gives each employee a week’s pay for each year of service, starting with either their third year or fifth year, depending on whether they worked an average of 25 hours per week.

Employees will also receive compensation for holidays and vacation, and four months of health care coverage.

The union states that employees also may go to work at another Shoppers store, but they may have to give up their severance rights in the future.

Federal Realty announces leadership promotions

Rockville-based Federal Realty Investment Trust, a real estate firm that owns several Montgomery County properties, announced two promotions within the company Wednesday.

Mike Ennes, a Federal Realty employee since 2015, has been promoted to senior vice president for mixed-use initiatives and corporate communications. He will be responsible for directing the company’s marketing strategy and integration of mixed-use properties, among other roles.

Ennes previously worked for Hilton Worldwide, where he specialized in brand development. His background is in real estate and the hospitality industry, according to a press release.

Jay Brinson, a Federal Realty employee since 2016, was appointed vice president for development. He will oversee the company’s “strategy and execution for all aspects of development.” Brinson has a background in planning, design and construction.

Fate of Montgomery County Macy’s stores not known after chain announces closures

The department store chain Macy’s announced this week that it would close 125 stores across the country during the next three years.

The closures, according to a press release, are part of a plan to improve the company’s profitability. It said it is closing the “least productive” of all Macy’s stores.

Macy’s has three stores in Montgomery County — in Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, Westfield Wheaton mall and Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg. The company has not released a list of the 125 stores closures.

Emily Workman, a Macy’s spokeswoman, wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat Wednesday that the company “does not have anything to share at this time” regarding the Montgomery County stores.

Based on a roundup of news reports in various markets, USA Today compiled a list of about 30 stores that will close. The only Maryland store in that roundup is in Salisbury.

The press release said the targeted stores are in “lower tier malls.” It also stated that 100 stores will receive “growth treatment,” or store upgrades.

Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com