SoCal Grocery Workers Likely to Reject Latest Contract Proposal and Strike!
Chants and claps were heard outside Southern California grocery stores on Wednesday, August 10 as community leaders, elected officials and shoppers rallied in support of grocery employees at local supermarket parking lots.
Workers are angry about a new proposal to cut their pay benefits by 50% or more to maintain health care access. In response, workers plan to vote on a strike authorization next week and they say they will go ahead with it, if they must.
In an effort to avert a strike and to help force three large supermarket corporations to negotiate a fair 3 year contract, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) stepped up it’s public pressure.
UFCW Local 770 and its community supporters, including the Coalition for Economic Survival, picked 16 locations around Los Angeles to do delegations to supermarket managers, and picked three to promote in the media.
One of the media locations was the Ralphs Market at Vermont Ave. and Third Street, where CES staff members participated in the protest.
According to the United Food & Commercial Workers Union, with 62,000 grocery store workers in Southern California entering their sixth month without a contract, Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons workers are getting closer to walking off their jobs if contract negotiations continue to stall over the issue of health care.
Ralphs, Vons and Albertson falsely claim they can’t meet union demands, yet all three obtained profits in the range of $5 billion last year, and paid out $500 million in dividends to Wall Street and investors! These are some of the most profitable corporations in America.
While the big three grocers are saying that they have submitted an “improved health care proposal,” union officials blasted the newest proposal as the same “realm of ridiculousness” as previous offers. The current proposal would still mean that workers earning an average of $25,000 would have to pay $10,000 for the health care plan.
A union spokesman said late Wednesday that the he expects members to reject management’s latest proposal and vote to strike as early as next week.
If there is a strike, the call for a boycott of Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons must be supported. It is incumbent on every shopper to never cross any picket line. It is the only way economic justice will be achieved for all.
So, next time you shop at Ralphs, Vons or Albertsons, let the workers know that you will stand with them.