Strike Authorized by More Than 600 Southern California Grocery Store Pharmacists

Following an announcement, more than 600 pharmacists and other pharmacy workers from Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons stores in Southern California could be fired. “overwhelming”Members vote to allow union leaders to call for strike action. 

There are no set dates for a strike, and negotiations with the retailers have continued. 

United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents workers across seven locals, has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against the stores with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming they have engaged in “unlawful and unfair treatment.” The allegations include retaliation for pharmacists who participate in union activity. This includes bribing pharmacists with bonuses instead of negotiating wage rises and hiring temporary workers to subvert union activity. 

These seven locals are the largest union grocery contract in all of the country.

“Southern California’s essential pharmacists have made their voices heard with this vote,”The union locals made the statement in a joint statement on Friday. “This vote gives union leaders the authorization to call for a strike and lays the groundwork to allow more than 600 pharmacists across California to stand up to protect their rights and ensure they have the ability to effectively serve their patients and communities.”

John Votava spokesman for Ralphs and said that they are continuing to negotiate with good faith. The strike authorization does NOT mean that there will be any strike or work stoppage. 

“Our company is committed to continue to negotiate in good faith with the union locals until an agreement is reached that meets the needs of our pharmacy associates and ensures our customers have access to affordable medicines while keeping stores competitive,” Votava said.    

Votava referred to the Unfair Labor Practice allegations. “fear tactic UFCW can use to call a strike and cause disruption for our company, associates and communities.”He claimed that the National Labor Relations Board hadn’t investigated the claims. 

“Ralphs follows the law and has not been notified of any wrongdoing,” Votava said. 

Albertsons, which is the owner of Pavilions and Vons didn’t respond to a request.


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