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Groups Seek Expanded Probe Into Discrimination Based on Age, Disabilities

July 27, 1995

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Worker advocacy groups on Thursday asked the federal government to widen a discrimination investigation at Publix Super Markets Inc. to include allegations of age and disability violations.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which does not represent workers at the Florida-based company, also announced a boycott of the supermarket chain.

The EEOC has been investigating charges of gender and race discrimination at Publix stores for three years.

Groups urging the expanded probe include the Florida State Council of Senior Citizens, the Coalition for Justice in Workers Compensation, the National Organization for Women and the food workers union.

Written complaints of discrimination against older and disabled employees at stores and warehouses would be presented to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, worker advocates said.

``Beginning today, we will mail to over 300,000 households in Florida asking women workers not to shop at Publix,″ Patricia Scarcelli, director of women’s affairs for the food workers union, said Friday.

A lawsuit filed last week charged the Lakeland-based company pigeonholed women in low-paying jobs with little chance of promotion.

Separately, Safeway Stores Inc. agreed Wednesday to settle a Justice Department complaint by making its 835 stores in 16 states more accessible to disabled customers.

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