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Albertsons' Dallas workers are mostly cut to part time

DALLAS — Albertsons Inc. has converted most full-time workers to part-time in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where it is locked in brutal competition with other grocery chains and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

It was unclear how many workers are affected. Boise-based Albertsons has about 10,000 employees at about 80 stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. At most stores, only a handful of supervisory employees remain full-time, workers say.

Cashiers, stockers, meat-department workers and others have seen their hours slashed and have lost benefits such as health insurance and sick leave.

Officials with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which has tried to organize workers at some local Albertsons, said the company is profitable and the move is unwarranted.

Albertsons earned $556 million on sales of $35.44 billion in its fiscal year that ended Jan. 29. The nation's second-largest supermarket chain behind The Kroger Co., it has about 2,500 stores.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth market, it trails only Wal-Mart in sales.

Albertsons has cut the hours of employees elsewhere. In June, a company spokeswoman said cutbacks in Oklahoma were part of a requirement at stores across the country.

In the first six months of this year, Albertsons cut $710 million in costs as part of a plan to eliminate $1 billion in annual costs, chief executive Lawrence R. Johnston told analysts.