UFCW Workers Vote Overwhelmingly For Strike Authorization

Video Nadin Abbott

June 22, 2016 (San Diego) The United Food and Commercial Workers Union that are part of the bargaining unit for Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons, voted to authorize a strike when necessary. The vote was done on Monday, but the union finished counting the votes overnight Tuesday.

We talked with Mickey Kasparian, the local president about the issues. The company, Kroger based in Cincinnati wants more concessions from workers. Yet this company keeps getting record earnings, in this environment, From their first quarter earnings report 2016 news release:

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today reported net earnings of $680 million, or $0.70 per diluted share, and identical supermarket sales growth, without fuel, of 2.4% in the first quarter of 2016. Kroger’s net earnings during the first quarter last year were $619 million, or $0.62 per diluted share.

Also the company is saying that they will feel more pressure since the state will be mandating a minimum wage of $15 dollars and hour by 2022. This is a state mandate, so they will not be competing against other cities.

A Ralphs Spokesperson told the Union Tribune: “A strike authorization vote is premature and only serves to cause concern for associates and customers,” she said.

While the market has changed from the 2003-4 long strike, labor in San Diego has become more assertive since then. We are embeding the video interview with Kasparian, and editor’s note, I did not notice the camera did not focus on him, but on the books behind him. We still believe the audio is very valuable.

 

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