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July 13th, 2007, 12:32 PM #1
Let's hope a Grocery Strike won't happen
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
- West Coast USA
Union representatives and grocery store management are back at the negotiation table Monday after taking a break for the July 4th holiday.
If talks breakdown, though, a Southland strike of some 65,000 workers from Bakersfield to San Diego will happen.
The last grocery strike in 2003 lasted almost five months.
The possible problem of many retailers [read many of us] is that if the Teamsters go out in a sympathy walkout, it can shut down the Port of Long Beach & Los Angeles.
Goods from Asia just sit offshore and wait.
July 13th, 2007, 12:55 PM #2
I remember that. It wasn't pretty. As I recall, I think the strike did more harm than good for everybody involved. I can't believe they have such a short memory and are thinking of doing it AGAIN. You'd think they'd want to keep negotiating.-Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
- Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.
July 13th, 2007, 02:25 PM #3
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
Union-busting is the big thing right now, with many employers working more aggressively than ever to wipe out collective bargaining.
I guess it's been about 10 years since we had a grocery strike in Northern California (I think it started at Albertson's and spread to the other large chains, which all synchronize their labor negotiations and contracts).
Just a couple of months ago, here in Hayward, California, the school district deliberately provoked a teacher's strike, which lasted 10 days until an unprecedented outpouring of community support led the district to give a raise that was larger than any of the teachers had actually hoped for -- but the district continues to work to push out credentialed teachers and to push families like ours out of the district (my stepdaughter will be attending school next year in the nearby town where her dad lives).
And now, eleven days ago, Waste Management Inc., continuing its very focused efforts to "bust" their unions, decided to simply lock out all of its union workers here in Alameda County, just one day after their contract had expired; this week, they also locked out union workers in neighboring Contra Costa County. There has been no garbage pickup in most neighborhoods for two weeks. The company claims that it has resumed normal service with temporary workers, but in fact no garbage has been picked up in most areas of Hayward, Oakland, and other cities in the area for the past two weeks. (Local TV news reporters are having fun, interposing clips of Waste Management spokespeople absurdly claiming that "garbage pickup has returned to normal" together with ugly drive-through images of trash piled up in front of neighborhood after neighborhood.)
I understand the economic pressures that are leading so many companies and even public agencies to try to "bust" unions and to reduce their salary and benefit expenses, but I really can't understand why they're acting so extremely "villainous" here in Hayward. It's as if someone wrote a playbook for how NOT to conduct a union-busting effort, and persuaded these employers to follow that playbook exactly ("Always lie, never negotiate, alienate every possible ally in the community, and just for fun, question the competence of your entire work force, especially those you've recently given awards to").
July 13th, 2007, 06:46 PM #4
When the United Food and Commercial Workers, the largest grocery union in the United States, strikes in Socal, they go against the three largest Socal chains, Ralphs (part of Kroeger) Vons (part of Safeway) and Albertsons. Their usual method is to strike against one of the chains, and the other two then lockout the union workers in support of the third store.
Following the last strike, of 2003-4, Ralphs was totally embarassed and ordered to pay $70 Million ($50 Mil in damages to the workers and $20 Mil in fines to the Federal government) when it was proven that during the strike they knowingly and intentionally re-hired striking union workers under false names and with phony social security numbers.
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