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What's your opinion?

Will it affect your shopping habits and how?

Are the employees making a wise choice if they strike in this sick economy where they might be easily replaced by unemployed workers?

Does the union have a legit beef on behalf of the employees?

Or are the grocery companies on the right side of the issue?

Have unions outlived their purpose on planet Earth?

Or are they a very necessary part of protection for employees in certain industries?




The story from Yahoo news:

Grocery workers give notice to end contract extension
The move by union officials for Southern California supermarket employees at Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons brings them closer to their first strike since 2003. They hope it prods the grocery firms to wrap up a new deal.

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By P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times
September 16, 2011

In a bid to speed up negotiations that have dragged on for more than eight months, union officials representing supermarket workers in Southern California took a step closer Thursday night to going on strike.

Officials from the United Food and Commercial Workers gave 72 hours notice to cancel their labor contract extension with the region's three leading grocery chains, a mandatory step before a walkout. Once the contract is no longer in effect, grocery workers can strike at any time.

The move does not mean that workers will necessarily walk off the job Sunday at the three chains: Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons.

The union members could instead keep working while negotiations continue.

Greg Conger, president of UFCW Local 324 in Orange County, said union officials felt they had no choice but to take this step.

"It's time to bring these negotiations to an end," Conger said. "The talks have been going at a glacial pace.

"If the employers don't snap out of it, and give our members a proposal that we can live with, the only option we have left is a strike."

Albertsons said in a statement Thursday evening, "We are disappointed that union leadership decided to take this step.... We don't want a strike, and we hope to continue bargaining rather than continue to alarm our associates and our customers."

Kendra Doyel, spokeswoman for Ralphs, said, "Even though the union leadership has canceled the contract extension, our stores are open for business. Bargaining will continue over the next three days and we remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached."

Vons said it and the other employers "intend to remain focused on the negotiation process and urge the unions to do so the same."

The labor negotiations, which have grown increasingly tense, have most recently focused on healthcare funding and how to pay for benefits, according to officials from both UFCW and the employers. Both sides have been meeting regularly since a recent strike-authorization vote by union members won strong support.

The labor contract that was approved in 2007 expired March 6. It had been extended day to day.

The contract covered an estimated 62,000 checkers, baggers, meat cutters and other grocery workers across the region, including those employed by Ralphs, which is owned by Kroger Co. of Cincinnati; Vons and Pavilions, owned by Safeway Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif.; and Albertsons, which is owned by SuperValu Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minn.

The contract also covered employees at other companies that are negotiating separate deals, which could be affected by the final results of this negotiation. The number of workers in Southern California that might walk off the job if a strike does happen in the coming days is about 54,200, according to data provided by Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons.

Thursday's news harks back to 2003, the last time Southern California grocery workers and their employers faced a standoff over labor issues. The 141-day strike and lockout that began that fall left many union members with staggering debts. It reportedly cost the employers an estimated $2 billion and gave competitors an opportunity to step into the gap.

Now, as in 2003, one key sticking point is healthcare. What's at issue is a painfully common refrain in corporate America: medical costs are rising.

Under the latest offer from the employers, grocery workers would pay $9 a week for individual coverage and $23 a week for a family, company and union officials said.

The grocers say these premiums are necessary to help offset rising healthcare costs and augment the amount Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons are agreeing to pay into a trust fund that purchases healthcare for workers. But union officials say that what the employers have proposed to pay during negotiations on the complex deal is far short of what is necessary and would ultimately gut the trust fund. Instead, union officials say, the employers need to pay more in order for the fund to be viable long term.
 

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You who rock I salute you
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Avalon, Catalina Island is served by a Vons and Von's express only.
Ya got no choice but to cross there.

Some talk the City Council is shooting for a sweetheart kinda deal or an injunction preventing picketing.

Our Target and Wal Mart are both grocery stores, creepy,, slave operated Jon's + COSTCO that's plenty.

I honestly don't see much on the shelves at Trader Joes,, but some swear by TJ's.
 

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My opinion is this is not about the workers...but about the corporations trying to regain control of the health fund and pension fund.

You can call the supermarkets one corporation and in the other corner you can call the union the other corporation. The workers are just the Pawns that are being played by both sides.
 

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So just to clarify the workers are pissed because they were paying nothing for health care and now they are being asked to pay $23.00 per week?
 

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They currently pay $7.00 a week for individuals, and $23.00 a week for full family. They're being asked to pay $9.00 and $27.00 respectively. The "courtesy clerks" (baggers) are going to be payed standard wage instead of premium wage to work Sunday. Remember, this is a part time position, so Sundays wont be the 7th straight work day. Rex, you ask if this will change my shopping habits. Absolutely. I will make a much bigger effort to shop at union grocery stores, just to piss off the union members.

There's a lot of people out of work, and 1 in 6 people living below the poverty line, and the unions have the stones to strike over this. F***'em.

Yes the unions have no place in our society. They had their place at one time, now its simply extortion.
 

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So just to clarify the workers are pissed because they were paying nothing for health care and now they are being asked to pay $23.00 per week?
If they are pissed because of this, it's bull$hit. $96.00 per month is cheap, stop wanting others to pay for everything and man up and take care of your family. I pay $528.00 per month for my wife alone, the other choice, have no insurance. Unions help to a point, but stuff like this is stupid, people who own companies need to make money also, if they do not, why own a company and put people to work at all?
 

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I agree its total bull Shit, I pay about $480 per month for my wife and I and have my 18 month old insured with blue cross because I can't afford to have him on my policy. $100 per month for a family, crazy low. Im just thankful to have a job at all.

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Phuckem! I look forward to crossing the picket lines.
 

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They currently pay $7.00 a week for individuals, and $23.00 a week for full family. They're being asked to pay $9.00 and $27.00 respectively. The "courtesy clerks" (baggers) are going to be payed standard wage instead of premium wage to work Sunday. Remember, this is a part time position, so Sundays wont be the 7th straight work day. Rex, you ask if this will change my shopping habits. Absolutely. I will make a much bigger effort to shop at union grocery stores, just to piss off the union members.

There's a lot of people out of work, and 1 in 6 people living below the poverty line, and the unions have the stones to strike over this. F***'em.
Yes the unions have no place in our society. They had their place at one time, now its simply extortion.
Who really has skin in the game??? The Unions???
 

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Union What's your opinion? Unions Suck

Will it affect your shopping habits and how?
I will go more often to piss off the unions. If ralph's does close for the 30 days and open up as non-union then that will be my main grocery store.

Are the employees making a wise choice if they strike in this sick economy where they might be easily replaced by unemployed workers?
No the employees are GREEDY.

Does the union have a legit beef on behalf of the employees?
Nope

Or are the grocery companies on the right side of the issue?
Yes

Have unions outlived their purpose on planet Earth?
Absolutely

Or are they a very necessary part of protection for employees in certain industries?
No
 

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What's your opinion?

Will it affect your shopping habits and how?
Maybe. I'll probably cross a picket line so i don't have to drive across town to shop, but will most likely use Costco and Vallarta more. Thing is, I already am, since the food is cheaper there. If the supermarkets have to pay more, that means the shoppers have to pay more, and they'll go elsewhere.

Are the employees making a wise choice if they strike in this sick economy where they might be easily replaced by unemployed workers?
No

Does the union have a legit beef on behalf of the employees?
Maybe, maybe not.

Or are the grocery companies on the right side of the issue?
Trying to keep alive, they will do what they need to. Groceries still are a low margin operation, taking maybe 4% profit, one of the lowest margins of any major industry. This means every penny counts to the long term survival of the company.

Have unions outlived their purpose on planet Earth?
I've recently changed my view on this. A long-time anti-union "scab" or whatever, I'm now a union steward, mostly because our union "representative" was not representing us, and becoming a steward was the only way to get rid of her. The public employee unions are some of the worst out there, and they often only look out for the employees of the union office, as opposed to the workers they are supposed to represent (see Obamacare). My boss is trying to lay me off because I'm white, and without the union, I'd be gone already. After last night, when he got handed his hat by us, the union, the five people he plans to get rid of still have a job.

Or are they a very necessary part of protection for employees in certain industries?
It seems they are; no one else would come in and protect my job, if it wasn't for the union. Luckily for me, taking over the Local was easy to do, as people tend to let those that are willing to do the work do what they want. I said I'd do the work, most of them are happy with the work I do on their behalf, and I and my fellow stewards (mostly conservatives) are changing the direction of our union.
 

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Union What's your opinion? Unions Suck

Will it affect your shopping habits and how?
I will go more often to piss off the unions. If ralph's does close for the 30 days and open up as non-union then that will be my main grocery store.

Are the employees making a wise choice if they strike in this sick economy where they might be easily replaced by unemployed workers?
No the employees are GREEDY.

Does the union have a legit beef on behalf of the employees?
Nope

Or are the grocery companies on the right side of the issue?
Yes

Have unions outlived their purpose on planet Earth?
Absolutely

Or are they a very necessary part of protection for employees in certain industries?
No
Wholeheartedly agree!
 

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While I do look forward to crossing the picket line, its going to be hard to shop when the grocery stores still need someone to deliver them the goods......

No doubt many people are applying for the 10 per hour non-experience 13 per hour experienced help as we type.....the bigger issue is getting the food to the store.....I doubt the teamsters will cross? Will they?

I don't regularly shop the big three, more so just pick up a few items, but I would like to support them in their cause.



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While I do look forward to crossing the picket line, its going to be hard to shop when the grocery stores still need someone to deliver them the goods......

No doubt many people are applying for the 10 per hour non-experience 13 per hour experienced help as we type.....the bigger issue is getting the food to the store.....I doubt the teamsters will cross? Will they?

I don't regularly shop the big three, more so just pick up a few items, but I would like to support them in their cause.
I'm not so sure the Teamsters have much of a choice. Their union is not involved to my knowledge. I remember when the grocery workers went on strike in the early 2000's. That lasted about three months or so, while continuing to get inventory. So I'm not sure that will affect it.
 

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I'm not so sure the Teamsters have much of a choice. Their union is not involved to my knowledge. I remember when the grocery workers went on strike in the early 2000's. That lasted about three months or so, while continuing to get inventory. So I'm not sure that will affect it.
Sometime during the 2003 strike the teamsters did halt delivery to the grocery stores. It was nearer to the end of the strike but they did honor it and not cross at some point if I recall correctly. I believe it was the Thanksgiving weekend.

Also, they did not cross the picket line at some point, they drove the trucks to the store and then the store managers had to drive the trucks to the docks and unload. The strike itself along with the teamsters support did does overall affect getting the food to the shelves. They will have some really good deals along with some issues of stocking the products.



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Call in Scott Walker to straighten this out!!:thumb:
 

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Let them all strike themselves out of a job. How will these chains ever find someone else who can scan goods and count money?
Let the teamsters strike as well! The chains own their own fleet of trucks and there are lots of unemployed drivers looking for work as well.

The only real concern is the behavior of the union members as they are cut off. That's a real shame but it clearly announces who they are and what they really stand for.

I find it ironic that one organization takes dues from them and the other gives them money every single pay period, yet they side with the takers and not the givers. There's a measure of brainwashing in there somewhere.
 

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I find it ironic that one organization takes dues from them and the other gives them money every single pay period, yet they side with the takers and not the givers. There's a measure of brainwashing in there somewhere.

More than just a little. My experience with my fellow union members is that they really don't know any better. They will buy anything the union tells them, without question.
 

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Over the years various labor unions have tried to "organize" roughnecks.
Funny when the roughneck points out the very thing Doc suggested.

In my experience, management in the drilling industry compete against each other with wages and packages to entice loyalty and better hands.
The labor unions that sniff around are considered pretty much bottom feeders by both sides.
The hands that end up as the union promoters are without exception the ones that whine all the time.
They may be decent hands, but always bitching about something.

Just my experience in a little corner of the world.
 
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