CA grocery workers allow strike at Ralphs and Albertsons. What does it all mean?

Tens of thousands vote to allow their union to strike against Ralphs Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions throughout Central and Southern California.

Representatives of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union authorized the strike “should that become necessary”During contract negotiations, the union released a press release.

The vote allows union leaders call a strike if an agreement can’t be reached.

But it doesn’t mean that one will definitely take place. It will depend on whether there is progress in negotiations between UFCW members and the major supermarket chains.

If strike is called, shoppers in hundreds of Southern California grocery stores could be subject to walkouts by staff, including pharmacy technicians and meat cutters.

The union stated that no date has been set yet for a strike.

“A strike is always a last resort, and we will continue to push for the companies to do the right thing and come to the table prepared to bargain in good faith,”UFCW Local 770 notified members.

Workers want wage increases in the face of rising inflation, better scheduling, and better safety and security. This proposal includes an increase in safety committees at stores.

Bargaining began back in January and has been ongoing for many weeks. Contracts were terminated without agreement on March 6.

Erika Bentzen, a Ralphs employee, told KTLA that things have become more difficult over the past few years.

“Hours are being cut, you’re asked to do more with less time, with less people to do the job,” Bentzen said. “And it’s not the same. We have workers that, you know, they can’t afford to live. They have to share their apartments with other people just to make the rent payment.”

After the strike was approved, Ralphs responded saying that stores will remain open to serve Southern California despite the authorization.

“Ralphs believes no one wins in a strike – not our associates, not our company, not our communities and not the union,”Ralphs made the statement in a statement.

According to the Associated Press, in 2019, Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons workers voted for a strike authorization. However, contracts were ultimately reached without a walkout.

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