Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grocery workers to demonstrate Monday outside Ralphs

LOS ANGELES -- A large union that represents janitors and other service workers plans to demonstrate outside a major Southland grocery outlet Monday to show support for the unionized grocery workers who have had no contract for more than three months.

The Service Employees International Union plans a 5:30 p.m. Monday rally outside a Ralph's on La Brea Avenue in Inglewood to show that its members and family will not cross any picket lines should the Albertson's, Ralph's and Von's chains lock out or be struck by its clerks.

Last week, spokesmen for the companies and the unions seriously disagreed on how far apart they remain on a new labor contract. The supermarkets called an agreement on pension issues "important" and "noteworthy." But the workers strongly disagreed, and called the pension agreement "small progress."

The companies and their workers have not had a contract for more than three months. Union members voted in April to authorize a strike.

Both sides are working to avoid a repeat of the 2003 lockout, which affected Albertsons, Ralphs/Food For Less, and the Vons/Pavilions chains. The lockout was implemented by the stores after the workers had authorized a strike.

Picket lines altered shopping availability for millions of Southern California customers for more than a month, and resulted in tumultuous staff turnovers and rough economic times for the locked-out workers.


Gabrielle Union Radha Mitchell Scarlett Johansson Chandra West AnnaLynne McCord

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