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Unsold Dominick’s stores to close by Dec. 28

The Dominick's Dempster Street Waukegan Road closed end 2013. | File

The Dominick's at Dempster Street and Waukegan Road closed at the end of 2013. | File

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Updated: December 2, 2013 12:51PM

The 68 Dominick’s stores that remain unsold to other grocery chains will close “on or about” Dec. 28.

Dominick’s employees received notice this week in a letter.

“The closures are expected to be permanent,” the letter said.

Safeway, Dominick’s parent company, announced on Oct. 10 its plan to pull out of the Chicago market.

So far, only four of the 72 Dominick’s stores in the area have been purchased. New Albertsons, which owns Jewel, bought them.

Eric Bailey, spokesman for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1546 — which represents about 4,000 Dominick’s workers — said Thursday that the latest news leaves union members in limbo.

“If their stores haven’t been bought, or if the workers have not been hired by the companies who do buy those stores, they’re out of a job by Dec. 28th. Merry Christmas, huh?”

On Thursday, Dominick’s issued the following statement:

“The letters we sent were in accordance with federal and state laws that govern notification to workers regarding potential facility closures and the possible loss of employment. The communication is consistent with what we’ve publicly said about our efforts to find purchasers for as many of the stores as possible, and this remains our goal. We expect that stores which are not sold will be closed on or about December 28.”

Bailey said there is reason for Dominick’s employees to remain hopeful.

“We are confident that a good union grocery store like Jewel, Strack and Van Til or Kroger, is going to buy the majority of these stores, but again, you just don’t know.”

Bailey said workers should remain confident in their union contract, which provides some security.

“The contract still is in effect, so they do have those protections like severance and pension obligations.”

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