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Monday, June 25, 2007 

Grocery Workers Vote to Strike

Whether they actually do or not, that will be decided later. But the vote is in...and they want to put that on the front table. Keep in mind:
  • Workers haven't received a pay raise since 2002
  • The stores want to up (some by 100%) their medical co-pays
  • The stores want to add a third tier for paying lower wages compared to the current two tiers
  • They are trying to drive out older workers then hire younger, much lower paying employees

Total CEO Compensation
Corporation CEO 2003 2004 2005 2006 % Increase
David Dillon $3.7 Million $4.0 Million $5.1 Million $8.3 Million 124.3%
Steven Burd $1.0 Million $2.3 Million $9.2 Million $7.0 Million 600.0%
Jeffrey Noddle $3.9 Million $5.7 Million $9.5 Million $11.9 Million 210.5%


And last time there was a strike, it seems that the supermarkets were up to "no good"

The California Attorney General brought suit against the big three supermarkets (Vons, Ralph's, Albertson's) for anti-trust violations....and won the case.
Attorney General Bill Lockyer today won a landmark court ruling that holds grocery chains are liable for any antitrust violations arising from a profit-sharing agreement they entered prior to the start of a months-long labor strike in Southern California that ended February 2004.

"This ruling, the first if its kind in history, is a significant legal victory for consumers and law enforcement officials, not just in California but potentially across the country," said Lockyer. "The decision stands for the principle that businesses cannot violate the most basic tenet of antitrust law, conspiring to keep prices artificially high, and then escape accountability just because they broke the law during a labor strike." - California Office of the Attorney General
And Ralphs was fined $70 million for it's additional wrong doing.
Ralphs pleaded guilty in July to felony charges including indentity theft, money laundering, obstruction of justice, false use of a social security number and conspiracy arising from the company's ill-fated plan to secretly rehired striking or locked-out workers during a work stoppage in 2003 and 2004. The court imposed a $20 million fine and ordered Ralphs to pay $50 million in restitution to an 19,000 workers and their unions.

..Judge Anderson remarked that the company's conduct displayed a "pervasive and powerful corporate culture that exalted the value of profits and win at any costs above the rule of law." - California Wage Law blog
You know, if the supermarkets are claiming they have no money to pay their workers, perhaps they should find lower paid executives...perhaps they shouldn't break the laws and pay high fines for doing so.

I prefer the Farmer's Markets anyway. Unfortunately, one of my favorite little grocery stores Lazy Acres is owned by Albertson's....so, buh bye if there is a strike. And, if there is a strike, I will forever shift my "big store" business to Gelson's and Trader Joe's.

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Thank you for another important post, Cookie. These are important issues. Let's hear it for the Isla Vista Co-op and Lassens!

If you want to share "8 Fun Facts," consider yourself tagged!

Don't forget Chapala Market (on Milpas Street) and Santa Cruz Market. There are plenty of alternatives!

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