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El Super Workers Rally for a Fair Contract and to Raise Standards Across the Grocery Chain

UFCW El Super workers rally in Los Angeles to call on a fair contract for workers and better working conditions throughout the grocery chain.

UFCW El Super workers rally in Los Angeles to call on a fair contract for workers and better working conditions throughout the grocery chain.

More than 100 workers, labor leaders, community activists, students, and clergy members gathered outside a South Los Angeles El Super store last week to demand a fair contract for union grocery workers employed by the chain. Workers at seven El Super stores across California, Nevada and Arizona currently have a union voice on the job. The workers are fighting for a fair contract that will raise standards across the 45-store grocery chain.

“We would like the company to pay us sick leave and give us 40 hours a week – a real full time job,” said Fermin Rodriguez, a cashier and shop steward with UFCW Local 770. “All workers at El Super deserve to be healthy and that’s why we are asking for sick leave. We’re here to send a message to workers and families that we will keep fighting for you and won’t give up until we win. Every El Super worker deserves a fair contract.”

El Super workers represented by UFCW Locals 324, 770, 1167 and 1428 are part of a growing movement of unionized workers at ethnic markets. Rapidly expanding chains like El Super underscore the importance of union workers achieving fair contracts that set higher standards across the chain. While El Super only had 14 stores as recently as 2008, the chain now employs over 4,000 workers and is opening 5 to 6 stores in the U.S. each year.

Martin Ayala, who has worked as a meat clerk at El Super for five years, explained why he was marching: “We are fighting for our benefits and for our rights because the El Super company has rejected all of what we’ve asked for at the bargaining committee. We’re asking for sick days because it’s important – we come into work sick, which is not respectful for the workers or the customers. We are forced to work sick and we handle food, so this is not good.”

Among the issues that El Super has refused to address in bargaining are respect on the job, seniority rights, health benefits and a guarantee of 40 hours per week for full time workers. The Mexico-based retailer that owns 80 percent of El Super, Grupo Comercial Chedraui, took in $120 million in 2012, and co-President Alfredo Chedraui Obeso’s net worth was reported to be over $1 billion as of January 2013.

Hundreds of CVS Workers in California Join UFCW Local 770

Hundreds of CVS workers across the Los Angeles area have voted to join UFCW Local 770.

Hundreds of CVS workers across the Los Angeles area have voted to join UFCW Local 770.

Since May, hundreds of workers at Los Angeles area CVS stores have stood together and joined UFCW Local 770, bringing the total number of newly unionized CVS stores to 50 and more than doubling the number of new stores under contract. These workers join more than 8,000 CVS workers in 11 states and the District of Columbia who are already members of the UFCW. By joining the UFCW, these workers have voted for a better life.

Raley’s Nob Hill Division UFCW Local 5 Members Authorize Strike by 96%

(San Jose, CA) – United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 5 membersworking for Raley’s Nob Hill division have voted by a 96% margin toauthorize a strike.

Coming on the heels of Raley’s threat to submit a last, best and final offerto the union on April 30, Local 5 immediately set up meetings throughout itsjurisdiction to hold strike vote meetings. Members attended in large numbersand authorized the union’s bargaining committee to call a strike.

Subsequent to Raley’s move to scuttle bargaining the parties agreed to enterfederal mediation.

“”Raley’s actions led the union to call a strike vote in the Nob Hilldivision. When a company threatens to submit a last, best and final offer itsets off a sequence of events that inevitably lead to either accepting aterrible offer or a strike. Both options are bad, but since we alreadycancelled one strike vote in a sign of good faith to further bargaining, weweren’t going to cancel this one. This overwhelming vote will send a strongmessage to the company and hopefully move negotiations to a successfulconclusion,”" stated Ron Lind, President UFCW Local 5.

Negotiations resume with Raley’s-Nob Hill on May 18 under the auspices ofthe Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Oakland.