August 13, 2014 (San Diego) A well placed Union leader gave an update of where things stand with Food4Less. Today negotiations started. Among others involved in the negotiations is President of the United Food and Commercial Workers local 135, Mickey Kasparian is part of the negotiations.
According to this well placed Union official, the informational pickets have been “an overwhelming success across the region.”
In San Diego the pickets have made contact with tens of thousands of customers, and thousands have turned away, or joined the picket.
Among those who have joined the picket have been San Diego Council Member Myrtle Cole. Also staff from David Alvarez’s office have come.
From National City Mayor Ron Morrison, Vice Mayor Luis Natividad and Council Members Jerry Cano and Mona Rios also have joined the pickets at the Chula Vista Store. Staff from State Senator Marti Block’s office has also shown, as well as from Lorena Gonzalez’s.
The Faith Community is also supporting this, with the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice giving support, as well as Pastor Darryl Winston of the Church of God and Christ in Lemon Grove, who brought water.
According to this labor leader, the support from the Labor Council, as well as other Labor Unions has been exceptional. He especially pointed to the SEIU, several locals, the EIBW, the AFT, the Teamsters and the Carpenters.
There has been an affect felt by the Corporation, and for example, according to the Union, the Lemon Grove ribbon cutting ceremony was cancelled. They also had a lot of merchandise left on the shelves and in pallets.
The main thing is that the corporation wants to reduce hours, and with this, benefits.
We were also able to talk with Elizabeth Lieventhal, from Mission Valley. She said that it is important “for residents in Mission Valley to stand up for for the workers at the stores they shop.” She added that it is important for these stores to provide good jobs.
She said that neighbors are now very aware of the pickets, and many have gone up the street to the Ralphs “which have a good contract with benefits.”
When she was growing up her grandfather taught her to never cross a picket, and join the picket to help. This is a family value.
Andrea Fuentez President of the Cesar Chavez Commemoration Committee said that she was participating because she believes “in the values of dignity and respect for all working people.”
We broached the issue of why workers are treated differently with Food4Less, and why there seems to be apparent discrimination. She said, “It’s difficult to say with certainly, but unfortunately discrimination continues in many forms in modern society.”
The pickets will not going to continue tomorrow, but negotiations are ongoing.
Categories: Labor Organizing