LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than 62,000 grocery workers in Southern California will receive the unanimous support Wednesday of every chartered union in Southern California in their struggle to preserve medical benefits that the Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons are proposing be "gutted" in a new collective bargaining agreement.
Downtown Los Angeles will be the setting of a press conference designed to highlight Organized Labor’s solidarity with grocery workers and to introduce to the media several workers who can share their stories about how their lives have been impacted by the medical benefits their employers are seeking to eliminate.
In addition to demonstrating Labor’s unity, the event will serve as a powerful warning to the Big Three that more than two million union members and their families should be counted among those who will take their business elsewhere should the dispute escalate to a strike.
Presidents of UFCW Locals may not be available as negotiations between unions and the Big Three grocery chains are scheduled to continue as both sides work with the federal mediator to draft a successor agreement to the contract that expired March 6.
Local 324 members joined with their colleagues in the region in April when they voted to strike if management insists on replacing their current healthcare plan with an inferior and far more costly alternative.
The prospect of a strike and lockout affecting workers from Mammoth to the Mexican border is no longer the longshot it was as the Big Three grocery chains appear unwilling to compromise on their insistence that employees accept $450 million in additional healthcare costs.
Local 324 President Greg Conger called the company’s claim that the cost shifts were needed, “A ruse that ignores the fact that these companies continue to post multi-billion profits annually. That isn’t an insignificant footnote,” he said. “The impact of these proposals is a matter of life and death for some of our members.”
UFCW Local 324 is the largest private-sector union in Orange County with 23,000 active members.
|Who:||Los Angeles and Orange County Labor Leaders,|
|Workers potentially impacted by management’s contract proposals|
|When:||11 a.m. Wednesday, June 8|
|Where:||LA County Federation of Labor, 2130 James M. Wood Blvd.|
|Downtown Los Angeles|