Union volunteers established an informational picket line at the non-Union Foods Co store at 3053 East Shields Ave. this morning.
“The decision by Foods Co to open new stores non-Union is hostile and anti-worker,” Loveall said. “It poses a threat to Union market share and to the high standards of our members' Union wages and benefits. We will not allow that to happen.”
UFCW 8 volunteers and community activists have picketed a non-Union Foods Co store in South Sacramento since last July, handing leaflets to shoppers and distributed fliers to homes in the area.
Loveall said the Union is asking the public not to shop at non-Union Foods Co stores and to shop instead at Union stores, such as Save Mart, Safeway, Vons and Raley's.
“Our members are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that all workers at these and other non-Union Foods Co stores have the same access to the good pay, health care, pension and job security enjoyed by Union members,” Loveall said.
UFCW 8-Golden State represents some 30,000 members who work in stores, plants and offices from the California-Oregon border in the north to Kern County in the south.
Judge Loren E. McMaster denied the company's motion for a temporary restraining order. He found that the company failed to support its claim that the picketing was unlawful, disruptive or threatening.
“This ruling is a victory for working people and the Bill of Rights,” said UFCW 8-Golden State President Jacques Loveall.
“This was a clear attempt to unfairly limit the ability to get our message across,” Loveall said. “It was an attempt to deny our legal right to free speech and assembly.” If Ralphs had succeeded in obtaining the restraining order, it would have affected similar activities by unions across California, Loveall said.
The Union has been picketing the store, at 7421 W. Stockton Blvd., every day since July 2007, shortly after it opened. In January 2008, the company sought to limit the picketing efforts and force the Union to adhere to unilaterally created company rules that would significantly limit the time, place and manner of the picketing. When the Union rejected the company's unlawful attempt to limit its rights, Ralphs filed a motion for a temporary restraining order. UFCW 8-Golden State represents some 30,000 members who work in stores, plants and offices from the California-Oregon border in the north to Fresno County in the south.
UFCW Members Vote Overwhelmingly to Ratify Contract Featuring Wage Increases and Expanded Health Benefits
UFCW 8 President Jacques Loveall, UFCW 5 President Ron Lind and UFCW 101 President Mike Borstel hailed the contract as “a milestone in the retail drug industry.”
“In an age when workers across the nation are seeing their wages frozen and their health plans cut - or even eliminated altogether - this agreement gives all of our Rite Aid members wage increases or bonuses and improved health coverage,” the UFCW presidents said.
“Our local unions worked together effectively through more than a year of negotiations that were, at times, difficult. Our united front gave us unprecedented clout with the Rite Aid management. We were proud to present to our members an agreement they could endorse with enthusiasm.”
The three UFCW unions represent approximately 4,300 workers in Rite Aid stores in the northern two-thirds of California. UFCW 8-Golden State extends from the Oregon border in the north to Fresno County in the south. UFCW Locals 5 and 101 represent members in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose and Silicon Valley.
“We don’t take joy in this store’s failure,” Loveall said. “We wish its managers had better sense. Had they worked with us and treated their employees well, they would be prospering today.”
Loveall noted that the store’s management tried to deceive the public when it opened under the Lucky banner.
“Lucky is a Union employer,” Loveall said. “It pays its employees fair wages and provides them with good union-negotiated benefits. This store did not.”
He said that Grocery Outlet exploited its workers by paying wages below industry and area standards.
“That’s why Union supporters picketed the store for the past two years,” Loveall said. “The public needs to know when a non-Union store mistreats its employees and tries to pass itself off as a Union shop.”
The Union supporters picketed the store five days a week and handed out leaflets to shoppers informing them of the deception and asking them to patronize nearby Union stores instead.
Increases Bargaining Power of Working People
Roseville, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2008) – Northern and Central California members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 45D and UFCW 8-Golden State voted overwhelmingly to combine forces. The balloting to ratify the merger was conducted by mail in January and early February.
UFCW 8-Golden State, already the product of 11 mergers over the past years, is the largest UFCW affiliate in the Western United States. Other recent mergers have created large UFCW affiliates in the San Francisco Bay Area, New Jersey, Seattle and Chicago, among other places.
The size and innovative approach to bargaining implemented by UFCW 8 has had a powerful and beneficial effect on the wages, benefits and working conditions of its members. In 2007, the Union negotiated contracts with the major food employers that are extremely popular among the membership.
“We applied a non-traditional, 'win-win' approach to negotiations,” said Jacques Loveall, President of UFCW 8-Golden State. “It helped that all sides recognized the need to work together to face the challenges of our industry.”
With the addition of 45D’s membership, which primarily serves the distillery industry, UFCW 8 represents more than 30,000 working people in 54 of California’s 58 counties. Its members work in supermarkets, drug stores, food-processing plants, factories, distilleries, health care facilities, offices and other locations.
Ken Jacobs, deputy chair of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, noted a nationwide trend toward mergers throughout the American labor movement.
“Small, geographically-based unions made sense when employers were local operations,” Jacobs said. “Today, when dealing with national and international companies with deep pockets, it's a different ballgame. Unions like the UFCW will have to find ways to restructure themselves in order to have leverage at the bargaining table. Merging local unions is a smart way to do that.”
President Jacques Loveall added: “We expect more successes in the future as we continue to grow. Through unity and solidarity, we will wield our increased negotiating, organizing and political clout to improve the lives of all working people and their families.”
That's why each year the UFCW awards several scholarships of up to $8,000 each to UFCW members or their unmarried dependents.
The scholarship application will be available January 15 - March 15, 2008
Other Scholarship Opportunities
Since 1992, Union Plus has awarded over $2 million in scholarships to union members and their families. Learn more and apply for the Union Plus Scholarship here.
Do you have an academic field of study in a food-related field, business, or marketing program? You may also be eligible for the International Dairy·Deli·Bakery Association scholarship.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
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