P&C stores could close on Valentine’s weekend

Penn Traffic Co. has sent letters to employees of P&C supermarkets warning of possible store closures. The earliest that could happen is Sunday, Feb. 15, 2010 — a less-than-heartwarming way to spend the day after Valentine’s Day.

The letters went out to stores and to regional offices of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, including the Northeastern Region office on Oriskany and to its President, Frank DeRiso. It was sent in accordance with the requirements of the New York State Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

The letter states that the company "anticipates that it will discontinue permanently its operations" at certain P&C stores. The list accompanying the letter was not made public by the union. The fate of local stores such as those in Rome, Camden and Sherrill remain unclear.

Penn Traffic states that it is seeking financing and sale offers to either retain stores or sell them so they can continue to be operated by new owners. The letter includes a 90-day notice of the possibility of a shutdown of stores. That would mean possible closures as soon as Feb. 15, 2010.
Union Local One President DeRiso issued a statement about the overall situation. "We met with the Company on Monday, Nov. 16 where they discussed with us their financial dilemma in regards to financing the operations of the company. Needless to say, not being able to finance was, and is, Penn Traffic’s biggest obstacle. I discussed today with Penn Traffic Management, all accrued benefits owed to Local One members. At this point in time we don’t believe there will be any interruption in these benefits." He concluded, "As this unfolds and we know more, we will pass along the information as we receive it."