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10/31: Latest Updates on Los Angeles Supermarket Workers Strike!!!

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    10/31: Latest Updates on Los Angeles Supermarket Workers Strike!!! By: Lee Siu Hin ActionLA http://www.ActionLA.org - UFCW has switching their picket away from
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2003
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      10/31: Latest Updates on Los Angeles Supermarket Workers Strike!!!
      By: Lee Siu Hin

      - UFCW has switching their picket away from Ralphs to focus on pickiting Vons
      and Abertson.
      - MTA Strikes continues.

      The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, which represents 70,000
      striking and locked out supermarket workers, said it was switching pickets
      away from Ralphs to focus instead on Vons and Albertsons Inc.

      UFCW president Rick Icaza told a news conference the union wanted to reward
      shoppers, who have deserted all three supermarkets in droves, and increase the
      pressure on Vons and Albertsons which it sees as the main adversaries in the
      strike over health and pensions benefits.

      For more information about the supermarket workers' strike, please check:
      or call: (213) 379-3631

      To know more about the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), please

      Report: Los Angeles Supermarket Workers Are On Strike!

      1) UFCW Supermarket Workers Withdraw Pickets from Ralphs Stores (Press
      Releasfrom UFCW Union)
      2) St. Louis Grocery Workers End Strike (AP)
      1) UFCW Supermarket Workers Withdraw Pickets from Ralphs Stores; Grateful
      Workers Seek to Make Shopping Easier for Supportive Public

      10/31/2003--Picket lines will be withdrawn by 12:00 noon from Ralphs stores
      in Southern California.

      Representatives of 70,000 striking and locked-out supermarket workers
      announced this decision this morning in simultaneous press conferences in Los
      Angeles, San Diego, Bakersfield, Santa Barbara and Palm Desert.

      Supermarket workers will continue to be locked out of their stores by Ralphs
      management in a regional labor dispute that is about to enter its fourth week.
      Instead of picketing their own stores, Ralphs employees will supplement
      picket lines at -- among other strategic locations -- Vons and Pavilions stores,
      where employees are on strike, and Albertsons stores, where employees are locked

      "Please help us in our struggle to save affordable health care by not
      shopping at Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons during this dispute," said a Ralphs
      worker. "We've taken down our picket lines at Ralphs for our customers' convenience."

      Overwhelming popular support for the employees has resulted in empty
      supermarket aisles and millions of dollars in losses for Ralphs (Kroger Co., NYSE:
      KR), Vons and Pavilions (Safeway Inc., NYSE: SWY) and Albertsons (NYSE: ABS).

      "The public has endured enough," a UFCW spokesperson said today. "Between the
      MTA transit strike in Los Angeles and the supermarket strike and lockouts --
      not to mention the horrific tragedy of the Southern California wildfires --
      the people need some good news for a change. We are extremely grateful for the
      public's support," the spokesperson continued.

      Contacts: Ellen Anreder at 818-591-7480 and Barbara Maynard at 323-850-1356
      CONTACT:UFCW Press Contacts Ellen Anreder, 818-591-7480 Barbara Maynard,


      2) St. Louis Grocery Workers End Strike

      ST. LOUIS (AP) - More than 10,000 union grocery workers headed back to work
      after agreeing to a new contract Friday, ending a 3 1/2-week strike and lockout
      at the region's three largest supermarket chains.

      The agreement, reached Wednesday with the help of a federal mediator, was
      approved 4,174 to 945, well over the required simple majority.

      "Go back to work," Bob Kelley, president of United Food & Commercial Workers
      Local 655, shouted to cheering members.

      Two other union walkouts at grocery chains continued, one in Southern
      California and the other covering stores in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.

      Friday's vote ended a strike at 97 Schnuck Markets, Dierbergs Markets and
      Shop 'n Save Warehouse Foods stores on the Missouri side of the St. Louis area.

      The new 47-month contract gives those earning at least $9 an hour raises of a
      quarter a year in 2005-2007, while baggers get 10-cent raises. It also
      eliminates medical benefit deductibles, caps prescription drug costs and gives the
      lowest-paid employees a slightly better raise than a proposal rejected a month

      The strike was authorized Oct. 7 after the initial contract offer was
      rejected by 62 percent of workers, who initially planned to target only Shop 'n Save
      for the walkout. But management at Dierbergs and Schnucks locked out their
      workers until the strike was resolved.

      The stores hired more than 9,000 temporary replacement workers during the
      strike but still had to cut hours. Business rose sharply at smaller markets and
      nonunion stores.

      At the request of Gov. Bob Holden, federal mediator Roger Hendrix began
      meeting last week with negotiators from both sides.

      "Nobody wins in a strike," Kelley said Friday. "The company's lost millions
      of dollars. Our members lost a lot of money."

      Deborah Sercl, 46, a Schnucks clerk, said she was eager to get back to work:
      "I'm one of those people that don't like to walk. Glad to get off that picket

      The St. Louis area workers were the first of three groups of supermarket
      employees across the nation to go on strike. Four days after the walkout began
      here, about 70,000 workers at three California grocery chains - Albertsons,
      Safeway's Vons and Kroger Co.'s Ralphs and Pavilions - went on strike or were
      locked out.

      On Oct. 13, about 3,300 workers at Kroger stores in West Virginia, Kentucky
      and Ohio approved a strike.

      10/31/03 14:46 EST

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