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Union wins $575M pension deal from Albertsons, Cerberus Capital

Cerberus Capital Management — the buyout fund that owns grocery giant Albertsons — has made surprise concessions in a deal with the US government, agreeing to pay $575 million to shore up a massive, troubled pension plan covering some 50,000 supermarket workers, sources said. Under the first-of-its-kind agreement, the grocer starting next year will begin paying $23 million a year for 25 years to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. to fund the nest eggs of tens of thousands of grocery workers in the mid-Atlantic region, according to sources and regulatory filings... The deal... comes as Albertsons on Friday filed for an initial public offering.

... [The] pension concessions are aimed at resolving the supermarket’s lengthy dispute with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union... After union officials were briefed on the deal, employees at 112 Albertsons-owned Safeway supermarkets in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia voted Thursday to approve a new contract that includes increased wages and pension contributions... [An] Albertsons spokeswoman said, “We do not comment on the details of collective bargaining agreements.”

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