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Grocery strike impressions

by Rosalio Munoz Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2003 at 3:09 AM
rosalio_munoz@sbcglobal.netl

Grocery strike shows So Calif has not moved to the right.

Grocery Strike/Workers Correspondence

Millions of Southern Californians let the giant Vons, Ralphs and Albertson’s markets, know that there has been no shift to the right here by keeping the sprawling parking lots in supermarkets something like 75% empty (counting management and scabs) in solidarity with over 70,000 striking United Food & Commercial Workers members whose picketlines went up in virtually every urban neighborhood in the region.

The grocery store workers strike along with 2000 transit mechanics for the Los Angeles area Metropolitan Transit Authority , a sick out by many L.A. County Deputy Sherrifs, impending job actions by other County workers, and potential mass layoffs of State workers, have the general populace talking about health care, unions, standard of living, health care and unions.

I took to wearing a union tee shirt whenever I shop, and people stare, not in shock or surpise, but to read it to see which union it is.

At my worksite our union SEIU/California State Employes Association shirts encourages us to wear our shirts each Wednesday as we are under attack. Most do it once a month, but a whole lot more than usual wore them last Wednesday.

There is a large L.A. County worksite in the same building as our State office and Wednesday with my shirt on I was about to go in when a county worker accosted me. “Hi! I see you around in your shirt pretty often, I am in SEIU 660 here, what’s yours?. And then, like almost right out of the blue she said, “isn’t it really something all of these people on strike?, I wish all of California were on strike, we have a standard of living (to defend)” She let me know her unit may have to take some job action in the coming weeks.

At lunch time, in our dining area a multiracial group of women were conversing near me. I overheard one mentioning how one of the grocery strikers in here neighborhood reminded her of the actress in Norma Rae. Another mentioned how someone in her church owned a store and had the store closed Sundays because he put “people before profits.”

Thursday I had a day off and was able to attend a solidarity rally called by the L.A. County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO some 2000 were there. Several hundred strikers and many more rank and filers and officials from scores of unions and many, many different colored tee shirts, surrounded the Vons/Pavillion store in Hollywood (Melrose at Vine)

Thunderous cheers welcomed International Brotherhood of Teamsters Western Regions Vice President Jim Santangelo’s announcement that the Teamsters had extended the picket line recognition into the distribution centers of the giant chains. Santangelo told the strikers and supporters “together we will kick their (the supermarket monopolies)

Miguel Contreras Executive Secretary Treasurer of the 700,000 member strong L.A County Federation of Labor pledged full support to make sure the strikers last “one more day” than the companies. Los Angeles City Council Members and many State Legisltors pledged to join and support the picket lines in their districts. The L.A. city council had officiall y passed a resolution that it “strongly endorses the efforts of the UFCW to reach a just and decent contract.”

Saturday I went by three picket lines in my area to offer support. I parked on the street though the lots were all but empty. Honking horns of supporting passers by constantly npunctuated the conversations with the strikers. At the Eagle Rock Vons the picketers said a rally would soon be held and local teachers union members would be supporting. At the Highland Park Albertson’s picketers were talking about bringing family to the lines and joked about how supervisors inside tried to convince them this wasn’t legal. At the Lincoln Heights Vons picketers had family members at their line, looking at my tee shirt they empathized with the plight of state workers with a new governor coming in promising big cuts.

On the other side of town in the Venice neighborhood Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich walked a picketline Satuday. Sunday morning a Friends of Labor group held a car caravan passing by 10 stores to support picketers in Harbor City, Carson and Torrance. Sunday after noon Rev. Jesse Jackson helped picket at a Vons market in Santa Monica. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney will be in town to generate more support as well.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 42 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
No Difficulties Long Beach Shopper Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2003 at 7:30 AM
scabby scabby baby Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 4:17 PM
Legal question Chris Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 4:19 PM
grocery strike Agamigo Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 4:54 PM
idiot fuck you scab Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 5:03 PM
idiot OK Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 7:12 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 1:25 PM
kpc oem Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 1:31 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 3:27 PM
Actually no fresca Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 6:10 PM
Inflation and decreasing profit Dagny Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 10:07 PM
You should read Parmenides Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 10:16 PM
Don't blame the workers for the corruption inherent in the capitalist system. Parmenides Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 10:20 PM
Your ignorance is boring Dagny Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 10:23 PM
Ok Parm fresca Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 10:24 PM
and fresca Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003 at 10:34 PM
kpc oem Thursday, Oct. 30, 2003 at 5:58 AM
kpc oem Thursday, Oct. 30, 2003 at 6:19 AM
That doesn’t sound like freedom to me. Carolyn Hileman Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 7:57 PM
Blind Mice God Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 7:44 PM
Here here Jesus Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 9:36 PM
Corporate Greed? Bystabder Sunday, Nov. 02, 2003 at 5:37 PM
What about the insurance companies?/ more rational Monday, Nov. 03, 2003 at 7:23 PM
skills more rational Monday, Nov. 03, 2003 at 8:13 PM
They Suck Me!!! Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003 at 10:59 PM
When will we start thinking for ourselves Carolyn Hileman Thursday, Nov. 06, 2003 at 8:49 AM
thank you me Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2003 at 8:03 PM
thank you me Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2003 at 8:05 PM
Breaking down the wall Carolyn Hileman Thursday, Nov. 13, 2003 at 10:03 AM
What we as Americans lost today Carolyn Hileman Friday, Nov. 14, 2003 at 12:54 PM
Dear Carolyn Rose Sunday, Nov. 16, 2003 at 5:32 PM
Dear Rose Carolyn Hileman Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2003 at 9:37 AM
They will fight where we stood still Carolyn Hileman Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2003 at 9:39 AM
M Stewart Tuesday, Dec. 02, 2003 at 9:55 AM
To Stewart Scabbie Tuesday, Dec. 02, 2003 at 11:37 AM
Just a thought Carolyn Hileman Thursday, Dec. 04, 2003 at 7:55 AM
Repent You fool Servent Thursday, Dec. 04, 2003 at 7:26 PM
Repent You fool Servent Thursday, Dec. 04, 2003 at 7:30 PM
Corporate Greed? westcoast Monday, Dec. 15, 2003 at 7:56 PM
Afkacow Al Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003 at 9:07 AM
To Al Scabbie Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003 at 5:12 PM

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