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El Super Grocery Workers and their Supporters Protest Recently Opened El Super Store in Pico Rivera

MEDIA 6– El Super operates 54 grocery stores in California, Arizona and Nevada, and is a subsidiary of Mexico retail giant Grupo Comercial Chedraui

Community members and El Super workers rallied outside the chain’s newly opened El Super store in Pico Rivera yesterday. El Super has been under consumer boycott since December 2014, and its unionized workers have struck the company twice in protest of unfair labor practices. Jobs at El Super are beneath grocery industry standards and the federal government has issued multiple complaints, and a temporary injunction, against the company for violating the rights of workers who speak out in favor of higher standards.

On January 22, a new El Super opened at 9320 Slauson Ave, Pico Rivera. This space was a Ralph’s store, before it closed last October.

This will be a non Union store where workers have fewer protections and no voice at work. Pico Rivera needs good, union jobs that uplift workers, their families and our community. We need grocery stores that preserve the quality job standards established at neighboring stores,” said Andrea Zinder, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) 324 Secretary Treasurer.

Ralph’s workers at this store had a good union contract that included guaranteed hours, family sustaining wages, adequate paid sick leave, and affordable family health care. The jobs at the Pico Rivera El Super are inferior in every way.

In 2014, Chedraui posted over $100 million (US) in profits, and El Super contributed more than a fifth of the company’s net revenues. Despite its success, unionized El Super workers at seven (7) California stores have been working without a fair union contract for over two years.

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How you can help the UFCW Canada workers at Covered Bridge Potato Chips

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The following was originally posted by UFCW Canada:

Members on strike at Covered Bridge Potato Chips are holding strong, as two replacement workers walked out of the factory to join the picket line, and thousands of messages of support continue to pour in calling for a fair first contract.

The members were forced on strike on January 5, after the company continued to refuse bargaining a first contract with a living wage, and basic workplace rights including seniority. The members voted to join the union more than two years ago. Since then, the provincial labour board has ruled the company violated the Labour Act five times, and ordered Covered Bridge to stop intimidating union supporters, and to get back to the bargaining. The employer’s last offer before the strike was worse than the first offer a year ago.

“All we’re asking for is a fair first contract,” said Betty Demerchant, who along with her union brothers and sisters have picketed from sunrise to sundown every day, undeterred by the frigid temperatures. “We’re proud that people like the chips we make,” says Betty, “but for now, we’re asking folks not to buy Covered Bridge potato chips – not until the owners get back to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair first contract.

Over the last five years, Betty saw a raise of just ten-cents-an-hour, and most of the workers are paid minimum age. Meanwhile, the growing company recently received more than $700,000 in government grants to help the owners expand their factory. But for now, the impact of the strike has cut production at the plant in half.

You can help to bring justice to workers at Covered Bridge Potato Chips. Send a message to the company to get back to bargaining a fair contract. Click here.

Local 1529 Wins Class Action Grievance

11753661_1018043588240210_3605881755881610952_nThe following was shared by UFCW Local 1529:

UFCW Local 1529 prides itself on making sure that all of its members are taken care of when it comes to their benefits, wages, and insurance. Wages are a big part of why all our hardworking members come to work–so they can provide for themselves and their families.

During the early part of 2015, UFCW Local 1529 filed a class action grievance on 1/26/15 for a violation of wages in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between The Kroger Company and UFCW Local 1529. The CBA clearly states that any employee that has previous work history with the Kroger Company and is re-hired or any supermarket represented by UFCW with previous comparable experience will be given full work experience credit on the wage scale.

This part of the CBA was not being honored, as some Local 1529 members who had left Kroger at a top rate of pay were being re-hired, but The Kroger Company would start them off at minimum wage. This became a normal practice for the company until quite a few members started to come forward with their wage issues. The outcome was a Re-Hire Class Action Grievance against the Kroger Delta Division which affected all bargaining unit employees. As a result, UFCW Local 1529 and the Kroger Company agreed to put a posting in all stores for one month. Over 100 people responded to the posting to Kroger Human Resources and UFCW Local 1529’s business agents. After the month came to a close, UFCW Local 1529 turned all names over to Kroger Human Resources and as of right now members have been paid back pay amounting to $68,946.54.

The leadership of UFCW Local 1529 knows the importance of every line of language in the contract and how they affect all members. If the union and the Work Experience Credit language was not in place, the Local 1059 members would not have been paid correctly nor would they have received back pay. Just another example of how unions are protecting and serving as the collective voice of workers!