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

Southern California Supermarket Strike: A Missed Opportunity

by The Spark Wednesday, Mar. 03, 2004 at 8:54 PM
webmaster@the-spark.net

Article written before the vote about the outcome of the grocery workers' strike.

Southern California supermarket strike: A missed opportunity

  On February 26, the companies and the union involved in the Southern California supermarket strike reached an agreement. The result of the ratification vote was not known at the time this article was written. If the 59,000 strikers vote to end the strike, it will certainly be because of the financial hardship these workers have had to endure, and not because they are happy with the terms of the settlement.

The companies -- Kroger, which owns Ralphs; Safeway, which owns Vons; and Albertsons -- imposed one of their most important goals, a two-tier wage scale. Newly-hired clerks and cashiers will begin at .90 an hour, down from .80 in the old contract. Their top pay will also be reduced, from .90 to .10 an hour. In addition, new hires will have to pay, on average, 0 a year for health insurance and will have a worse pension plan than current workers have.

As for current workers, they will not get a raise for the next three years -- only two lump-sum payments instead.

In return for these concessions, the companies agreed to keep the current workers' health care benefits at the present level for the next two years.

Even this, however, is not the "gain" that the union, UFCW, makes it out to be. While not all the details of the agreement have been revealed yet, it seems that it includes a cap on the companies' contributions to the health care fund. In other words, the issue of premiums will soon be raised for current workers as well as for new hires.

A picketer summed up the outcome of the strike as: "We get squeezed, the big shots make more money and Wall Street likes it."

The big shame is that this strike actually stood a good chance of succeeding. There was certainly no lack of enthusiasm and dedication on the part of the strikers, at least in the beginning of the strike. And despite its length, the strike enjoyed the support of other workers throughout the area. Only days before the settlement, a Los Angeles Times poll found that, among people who shopped at the three chains before the strike, 60 per cent had never crossed the picket lines. These people certainly were not "intimidated" by picketers, as the companies claimed -- they were expressing their support for the strike.

This sentiment of solidarity might have been tapped to strengthen and extend the fight, to carry it out into the streets of Los Angeles, to make the fight a broader fight of all workers whose health care is endangered. But no real attempt was made to organize the strike in such a way that other workers could actively participate in it.

In fact, even the strikers themselves were not really mobilized by the union. Strike activities were limited almost entirely to picketing. Over time, the strikers' energy and enthusiasm wore down and this reinforced the sense that it was "a David versus Goliath thing," as a striker put it. The same striker added: "It was local workers versus national companies. They could have stayed out all year. We couldn't."

It didn't have to be like that. Of course the companies had all the means to outlast the workers in this waiting game. But who said it had to be a waiting game? Who said the fight had to be fought on this basis alone, that is, exactly the way the companies wanted to fight it?

Despite all this, however, the fact that the workers put up a fight, the fact that they took a stand and gained the solidarity and respect of the community, has meant that the companies were not able to impose all of their demands on the workers -- at least not fully and immediately.

That's important in view of future fights, which are certain to come in many sectors of the economy. For the big corporations and Wall Street will not stop pushing for ever more take-aways and cuts in a drive to increase their profits even more. And the workers will have to put up a fight to defend themselves against these attacks.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 5 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
victories more rational Thursday, Mar. 04, 2004 at 4:04 AM
wrong sfres Thursday, Mar. 04, 2004 at 5:15 PM
labor rights for all Monica Saturday, Mar. 06, 2004 at 12:52 AM
Lynn Jervik Saturday, Mar. 06, 2004 at 8:42 PM
1918 MadMaxim Sunday, Mar. 07, 2004 at 4:16 AM

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

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