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One Thousand March Through South Los Angeles in Support of Respect and a Fair Union Contract for El Super Grocery Workers

—March coincides with El Super’s parent company -Grupo Comercial Chedraui- Board of Directors meeting in Mexico—

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PHOTO 4Los Angeles—
On Monday, April 4, El Super grocery workers represented by the UFCW marched together with more than 1,000 supporters -through the streets of South Los Angeles- to demand respect and a fair contract. The march coincided with El Super’s parent company – Grupo Comercial Chedraui’s – Annual Meeting of its Board of Directors in Xalapa, Mexico.

“We need a fair contract so we can take care of ourselves and our families,” said Lydia Flores, an El Super cashier. “Sometimes, my coworkers have to work two jobs to get by. I have a son who is ill. I can’t do that because I have to take care of him as well. We need fair pay and enough paid sick days so we can take care of our families” Flores said.

El Super union members have been fighting to win a fair contract since September 2013. El Super/ dba Bodega Latina is a Latino-focused grocery chain with 54 stores in the U.S. It is a subsidiary of Chedraui – Mexico’s third largest retailer.

“El Super needs to respect the will of its workers and negotiate a fair agreement that rewards our members for their hard work,” said Ricardo F. Icaza, President of UFCW Local 770.

In December of 2014 the unions commenced a national consumer boycott in protest of the Company’s unfair labor practices and treatment of its workers. The boycott has had a significant impact. It has reached over 2 million shoppers and contributed to negative same store sales at El Super markets during 2015 – its first annual negative same store sales since it began reporting financial results in 2010.

Huntington Park Mayor Graciela Ortiz voiced her support for El Super workers at a rally held outside an El Super store in Huntington Park. “Our community supported El Super workers when they called for a consumer boycott. Last April, the City of Huntington Park passed a resolution endorsing the El Super boycott. As residents and leaders in our community we will continue to hold companies responsible in providing adequate living wages to the workers that serve our community,” Mayor Graciela added.

El Super workers are asking to share in the company’s prosperity, which they helped create. Indeed, although Chedraui reported $4.5 billion in net sales in 2015, much of drawn from U.S. sales, it does not pay its workers a fair wage, offer affordable health insurance or provide sufficient hours to support a family.  The El Super workers and their union, the UFCW, are seeking just that – fair pay, adequate paid sick days, stronger seniority protections, and a 40-hour guarantee for full-time workers.

El Super Grocery Workers Mark International Women’s Day by Protesting Unfair Treatment, Urging Boycott

—El Super sales negative for third straight quarter as boycott spreads to recently opened California El Super stores—

EL SUPER WORKERS PHOTO 1Pico Rivera, California—El Super workers have been fighting to win the company’s respect for more than two years. Yesterday, they honored the International Women’s Day tradition by protesting unfair treatment in front of the grocery chain’s newest store, in Pico Rivera.

“We want a fair contract that rewards us for the work that we do and will enable us to support our families and live better,” said Guadalupe Amador, who works at the El Super #13 bakery, in South Los Angeles. “We are fighting to win basic standards that other unionized grocery workers already enjoy.” The nonunion Pico Rivera El Super formerly operated as a unionized Ralph’s supermarket. Under El Super, workers earn less, pay more for health care, and receive half as many paid sick days as Ralph’s workers did.

Whittier College students distributed bread and roses to El Super workers during today’s event. “My fellow students and I delivered bread and roses as a token of our respect for these hardworking women – who are mothers, daughters, sisters, caretakers and family providers,” said Luz Castro, a Whittier College student.

Protestors educated Pico Rivera shoppers about the ongoing boycott of El Super stores – adding to the more than 200,000 shoppers who have agreed to honor December 2014 boycott call. Underscoring the boycott’s impact, El Super’s Mexico parent company recently reported its fourth quarter results for 2015, including negative same store sales of 0.9% in the U.S. segment – well below analyst expectations of positive 1% growth in the U.S. It was the third consecutive quarter in which U.S. same-store sales failed to grow.

“We are fighting for basic protections all workers deserve – including a 40-hour guarantee for full-time workers, fair wages, affordable health benefits, the right to organize without retaliation, and respect, “Flora Castaneda, an El Super cashier and a single mother of three, said. “El Super can easily afford these things, but they simply refuse to act responsibly.”

El Super has entered into settlement agreements to resolve allegations by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that it engaged in unfair labor practices. The company also made a commitment to the U.S. government to engage in good faith negotiations with El Super workers’ union – the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

“Unfortunately, since El Super returned to the bargaining table, progress has been very slow and they have just gone through the motions,” said UFCW Local 324 Secretary-Treasurer Andrea Zinder. “The company has made changes to proposals that have no substance. And they have even reneged on agreements it said were part of its “last, best and final offer” – which they implemented in spite of an overwhelming vote to reject it by our members.”

El Super union members struck the company two times during its 2015 fourth quarter to protest its unfair labor practices. And beginning March 14, the U.S. government will prosecute El Super again – this time, for its failure to give seniority information, including wage rates and part-time work.

About the Dispute

Southern California United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union locals 324, 770, 1428 and 1167 represent approximately 600 El Super workers employed at seven locations. These low-wage, predominantly Latino workers were covered under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with El Super that expired on September 27, 2013.

GREGORY SALCIDO

The mayor of Pico Rivera, Gregory Salcido, expressed his support to El Super workers

El Super is managed by the Paramount, CA based Bodega Latina Corp. There are 54 El Super locations in California (46 stores), Arizona (5 stores), and Nevada (3 stores). El Super is focused on serving Mexican first, second and third-generation consumers. Bodega Latina Corp is controlled by Mexico-based Grupo Comercial Chedraui (Chedraui). Chedraui operates 224 markets in Mexico. It is Mexico’s third largest retailer.

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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