LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – America’s largest grocery union is calling for a stop to Albertson’s plans to eliminate their home delivery driver positions and instead use a third-party provider.
Local unions blame Albertson’s move on the passage of Proposition 22 in November. The measure exempts companies from having to provide benefits to independent contractors.
Labor leaders warn that more workers across industries could be impacted.
“This is really devastating to employees who as I say have been essential and who have taken a lot of risks during the pandemic in terms of making sure the community is receiving groceries,” said Andrea Zinder of UFCW Local 324. “They subcontracted with another company of independent contractors so they could basically escape their obligations.”
In Southern California, grocery delivery drivers of Vons and Pavilions will be affected because they’re not a part of a union.
We spoke to drivers who say they were called to get on a conference call early December and told their positions will be eliminated on February 27.
Albertsons tells us it was a strategic decision to make the company’s booming e-commerce business more efficient.
In a statement, the company also said: “Our HR teams are working to place all impacted associates in stores, plants, and distribution centers…. Associates who stay in their current roles through the end of this transition but choose to leave may be eligible to receive severance benefits according to the company’s plan…”
A longtime driver and father told us for him that means he’ll be starting over as a new employee, and won’t get benefits for the first six months.
He also says the positions he has been offered are at a lower pay, and a fraction of the hours he’s working now.
The union says it is helping these drivers look into their options, and that they’re also looking into the legality of Prop 22.