PLEASANTON, Calif., June 11 (UPI) -- Safeway Inc., the nation's third-largest supermarket chain, announced sweeping administrative layoffs Wednesday, citing difficult economic times.
The company says 940 corporate employess will be furloughed this year, with about half of the layoffs occurring this week.
The Oakland Tribune said the job cuts affect about 13 percent of the Pleasanton-based company's administrative workers, but will not include retail store employees.
The company's chairman, chief executive officer and president, Steve Burd, said the prolonged economic downturn and a difficult operating environment forced Safeway into "this painful but necessary step of reducing our administrative office expenses."
Safeway has 1,694 stores in the United States and Canada, operating under the Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Carrs, Dominick's, Randalls, Tom Thumb and Genuardi's names.
The company employs 172,000 people.