Haggen closing 27 stores; local employees rallying for their jobs

SPANAWAY, Wash. -- Haggen is preparing to shut down 27 grocery stores in the western U.S., including the Spanaway location. Local employees planned to rally on Friday in protest of the closure.

But there may be some good news for employees, the Seattle Times reports Haggen says it is "cooperating" with a request to let Albertsons hire back some of its former workers.

Haggen purchased more than 100 Albertsons and Safeway stores in a major expansion bid up and down the west coast, but that transition has been rocky with many customers complaining about higher prices.

Haggen has also filed a lawsuit against Albertsons accusing the grocer of sabotaging the expansion.

The union says the workers are getting caught in the middle -- many have had their hours cut and their jobs put on the line.

"All they're seeing right now in these Haggen stores, is their hours being cut," said Denise Jagielo of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. "And they want to be able to go work for an employer that is competitive in the marketplace and is viable to where they can get hours, so they can take care of their families."

Employees hope they can keep their jobs at other Haggen locations or perhaps get hired back by Albertsons.

Customers in the Spanaway area say that location was a Safeway for years, and now customers are watching it slowly shut down.

Click here for a list of the 27 stores slated for closure.