The largest private sector union in the country is reacting strongly to a recent Washington State Supreme Court decision ahead of a proposed deal between Albertson's and Kroger.

The highest court in the state declined to take up a claim that a $4 billion dollar dividend to stakeholders would be uncompetitive.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union represents 835-thousand grocery store workers.

Union representative Tom Geiger says $4 billion dollars is better spent elsewhere.

"Increasing safety in stores, improving recruitment and retention in stores and then wages for workers. Quite frankly, if they're making that much profit, they should reduce prices." Geiger said.

Geiger says the decision could lead to the closures of Albertson's and Safeway stores.

"Thousands of people losing their jobs, causing a lot of hardship for shoppers and workers. There's definitely reason to be skeptical that these things will work." Geiger said.

Lawyers for Albertsons have said the decision to return money to shareholders was "unilateral and independent" of the company's proposed merger with Kroger.


More From NewsRadio 560 KPQ