LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Southern California grocery store workers have voted to authorize a strike against Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons.
The strike authorization vote was held Monday and Tuesday of this week, according to John Grant, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770. Exact tallies of the vote were not immediately released.
“Southern California grocery workers voted in large numbers, and overwhelmingly rejected the unfair terms that have been proposed by Ralphs, Albertsons, and Vons,” he said.
The strike authorization gives union negotiators the power to call for a strike if deemed necessary.
The union claims the stores made billions in profits last year, but are only offering employees wage increases of less than 1 percent. Cashiers like Pamela Hill say it’s not enough to allow them to take care of their families.
“We’re not against the company at all. We just want them to recognize the hard work that we do, the commitment that we come in here every day,” she said.
The union’s contract with grocery store companies expired in March. The next bargaining sessions between the union and the grocery store companies are scheduled on July 10, 11 and 12.
A representative of the grocery companies released the following statement:
“The outcome of the strike authorization vote does not change anything related to this process. we remain committed to negotiating a contract that is fair to all parties, including our employees, and will continue to work to achieve that.”
Shoppers remember the inconvenience of the four-month strike and lockout in 2003, and hope things won’t come to that again.
“I would want to be shopping somewhere that’s supporting the workers,” Nathaniel Mellors said.
“I think both parties need to sit down at the table and hash it out,” Malcolm Edward said.