imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Grocery Workers are Still Fighting

by Mike Schwartz Saturday, Jan. 10, 2004 at 2:14 AM
mikey2_2003@yahoo.com

An article about the Southern California Grocery Strike/Lockout.







“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” —Frederick Douglass


For over three months, shoppers and drivers in Southern California have seen them holding their picket signs. They are 70,000 supermarket workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) and their picket lines extend hundreds of miles across the region. They are on strike against Vons/Pavilions (Safeway) and have been locked out by Ralphs (Kroger) and Albertsons. These workers are fighting three of the largest supermarket chains in the country; the financial statements of these companies show that together they earned .3 billion dollars in net profit in the last four years alone.


The same multi-billion dollar corporations claim they need to cut one billion dollars from their labor costs in order to compete with Wal-Mart. According to the supermarket chains, this future competition necessitates that they reduce the health benefits package of their workers by 50 percent. They also want to institute a two-tier wage system, with new employees receiving lower wages and fewer benefits, and they even want to reduce the pension benefits of workers who have already retired.


We cannot underestimate the importance of this strike. It has taken 70 years of struggle for these grocery workers to win the relatively decent wages and benefits that they have today. These victories will disappear if the companies have their way. The behavior of the supermarkets suggests that they understand just how important this battle really is.


From day one, the “Big Three” have acted as one company and they have not cracked since. They have displayed corporate solidarity unrivaled in recent memory. After the UFCW went on strike against Vons and Pavilions, Ralphs and Albertsons locked out their employees the very next day. In addition, the union’s strategy to pull their picket lines from Ralphs to try and break this unity seems to have backfired. It has been discovered that the three companies signed a pact to share all the money they earn during the strike. It is unclear whether or not the companies will be able to fulfill the pact since it is being investigated by California’s Attorney General for anti-trust violations.


Their corporate solidarity has been matched by the solidarity of the grocery workers, the community, and other workers across the region. This strike has touched the hearts of millions and the companies are feeling the financial pain that comes with such widespread support. From people who had never even seen a picket line to old union veterans, people are just not crossing the line to shop. Stores that were incredibly busy before the strike are now basically empty. The companies have suffered tremendously and have lost over billion dollars in the last eleven weeks.


This battle is about a lot more than three companies trying to cut a billion dollars in labor costs, they have already lost more than that. The supermarket chains see this as a long term investment. The payoff will be a low-wage workforce with minimal benefits. If they succeed, it could pave the way for a widespread attack on the gains of the working class. Employers across the country are watching and will base their actions against their employees off the outcome of this strike. There are two central questions being raised on the picket lines outside Southern California grocery stores…should you have to work two jobs to make ends meet and is health care a right or a privilege?


That is why the 70,000 people who have been on strike/locked out for over 80 days are not just fighting for themselves; they are fighting for all of us. The grocery workers on the picket lines belong to an ever shrinking sector of the working class that enjoys decent wages, strong benefits, and the ability to play a role in their communities. These jobs did not exist before the labor movement created them and if the companies have their way, they will disappear. Somebody has to hold the line and that is what these workers are doing.


History has yet to write the final chapter in this strike. No one expected the fight to last this long; and no matter what the final contract looks like the grocery workers have been victorious in more ways than one. They are living the slogan the UFCW has adopted, “one day longer, one day stronger”. The companies are still waiting for the workers to give up and this is now the longest strike in the history of the supermarket industry. There have been many days over the past eleven weeks when the workers could have given up. Some workers are down to 0 dollars a week in strike benefits. Many have been evicted; some are even living in their cars. But the vast majority of the workers are still walking the picket lines with pride. They have stood strong against three giant corporations who had combined sales of 0 billion dollars last year. They did not beg, they did not roll over, they fought long and hard and they earned the respect of millions while doing so. These are victories that can never be taken away.


Meanwhile, wherever we are, it is on those of us who support the strike to take action to help it succeed. All across Southern California, community members have been organizing rallies, walking the picket lines with the workers, engaging in civil disobedience, and holding fundraisers. Kroger, Safeway, and Albertsons do not want the rest of the country to get involved. But we are all in this together and we need to show them that. We should boycott all stores owned by Kroger, Safeway, and Albertsons. It is fantastic that stores are empty in Southern California, now we need to empty out their stores across America. We also need to open up our wallets and donate to the strike fund (http://ufcw770.org/donate.htm). We cannot let these companies starve the workers into submission. Every dollar you can give would help tremendously.


In 1902 Mother Jones, who was a tireless crusader for the working class said some words that ring very true today… “My friends, it is solidarity of labor we want. We do not want to find fault with each other, but to solidify our forces and say to each other: We must be together; our masters are joined together and we must do the same thing.” One hundred years later, it could not be said better.



Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

The Shortwave Report 04/06/18 Listen Globally! A05 4:25PM

Nicaraguas Conflic with native Peoples on the Caribbean Coast Near Bluefields in Decade80 A05 12:14PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy