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Haggen Pacific Southwest Chief Further Explains Layoffs

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Following its announcement in mid-July that it would “cut back on staffing” as it struggles to gain its footing in its new territory of Southern California, Arizona and Nevada, Haggen is further explaining its action.

“Some of you have heard by now that we have had to make some difficult decisions over the past few weeks,” the Haggen Pacific Southwest Division said on its Facebook page Thursday. “We’ve remained fairly quiet publicly out of respect for our associates. But we would like to share the following statement from our CEO, Bill Shaner.”

Shaner’s statement says, “Our journey to establish and grow the Haggen brand in new markets has been challenging. As a result, we recently made the difficult decision to lay off members of our team. These decisions were especially painful—we don’t take them lightly—but they were necessary for our business. To clarify misinformation, all laid off associates may seek employment anywhere they choose. Associates were laid off based on job classification and seniority, in compliance with collective bargaining agreements. As part of the reduction, we eliminated the Clerks Helper job classification in our stores, which unfortunately included some associates with disabilities. We feel for all our former associates, in particular those with disabilities. We have already and will continue to help these associates find other jobs, through individual support and by partnering with concerned leaders and organizations in the community.

“We know this process has deeply impacted our former and current team members, as well as our neighborhoods,” he adds. “Haggen takes pride in our 82-year history of delivering quality products, serving guests and developing meaningful relationships in the communities we serve. We plan to continue that same tradition in the Pacific Southwest. We’re committed to succeeding and, as our business grows, we hope to bring back as many of our associates as we can.”

Bellingham, Washington-based Haggen formed the new Pacific Southwest Division earlier this year following its purchase of 146 former Albertsons and Vons stores in the West.

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