Waldbaum’s closure could mean over 100 layoffs

Waldbaums2Over 100 employees will be affected when the Riverhead Waldbuam’s shuts its doors this fall.

According to a notice filed with the New York State Department of Labor, 102 employees will be affected after Waldbaum’s parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month.

However, according to a company representative, what exactly is in the cards for those employees — whether they will be laid off or given an opportunity to work elsewhere within the company — remains to be seen.

“We are working that all out with the unions, because they are all represented employees,” said Sheryl Schermer, vice president of human resources and labor relations with Great Atlantic Pacific Tea Company.

Ms. Schermer said the company is hoping to meet with union representatives later this week to answer some of those questions.

Better known as A&P, Waldbaum’s parent company could lay off as many as 472 across Long Island as five stores are slated to close as part of 25 closures taking place from Delaware to New York. In addition to the Riverhead store, Waldbaum’s will be closing in Oceanside (88 employees) and Carle Place (43). Pathmark, which is also owned by A&P, will be closing in Baldwin (128) and Centereach (111).

According to a statement released by the company last week, $100 million in loans is being sought as part of a debt restructuring deal. The effort will leave A&P selling off 120 stores in total for about $600 million.

Several A&P assets were sold off to The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, which purchased 25 A&P stores in the greater New York City area for $146 million. Among those sold were Waldbaum’s in Southampton and East Hampton Villages. The stores are expected to be converted into Stop & Shops eventually, and the deal is expected to close before the end of the year.

A manager at the Riverhead Waldbaum’s declined to speak with a member of the press last week, saying he was not authorized to speak with the media. The Mattituck store was not among those listed on the chopping block.

The New York State Department of Labor mandates that employers with 50 or more people must issue a Workplace Adjustment and Retraining Notification at least 90 days before closing. According to A&P’s notice, “separations are expected to take place between Oct. 19 and Nov. 1.”