Grocery Stores Hire Strike Breakers as Labor Fight Intensifies
A strike could be imminent for Southern Californian grocery stores – Ralphs, Vons, and Albertsons – if labor negotiations continue to drag on with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union. Both sides are meeting this week in attempts to complete a contract offer to present to workers. Healthcare benefits, wages and staffing levels remain at the center of discussion.
The strike is becoming a heated public debate. Rev. Jesse Jackson joined workers protesting outside a Ralph’s location in Los Angeles Wednesday. Jackson met with local executives to discuss the contract and negotiations.
An estimated 62,000 grocery workers in Southern California will vote on whether or not to give their union locals the go ahead to strikes on Friday and Saturday. This will be the second vote for the grocery store workers.
The grocery store chains are fighting back in preparation for a strike by taking applications for people willing to cross a picket line and work during a possible strike.
On Wednesday, customers walking through the front door of the Albertsons store at West 39th Street and Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles were greeted with a sign offering $10- to $13-an-hour jobs “for temporary replacement associates due to a potential labor dispute at our store.”
Ralphs is not hiring replacement workers at this point and remains “confident in the contingency plans it has in place in the event the unions call a strike,” according to Kendra Doyel, Ralphs spokeswoman. She declined to discuss details about those plans with the LA Times.
Officials from Vons and Albertsons could not reached for comment on Wednesday.