Union grocery workers agree to strike

August 22, 2011

The union representing 62,000 grocery workers from Paso Robles to San Diego has voted to call a strike if an acceptable contract deal cannot be reached with Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons supermarkets. [Reuters]

After working without a contract for six months, over 90 percent of workers voted on Friday and Saturday to authorize a strike, far in excess of the two-thirds vote required.

Health care costs have been the main point of contention. The latest employer option would charge workers about $36 a month for single or $92 a month for family coverage.

The stores say it’s a fair deal while union workers say it could eat up as much as half of their take-home pay, Reuters said.

During a previous strike in 2003, both sides held their ground during a four month standoff that cost the stores more than $1 million in revenue.


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36 Comments

  1. standup says:

    It has to be more that the health care issue. If they say 36-92 bucks a month will take one half of their take home pay, the math doesn’t work out. That means they are making about 160 to four hundred a month. Well, that would put their wage at about $1-2.50/hour which is the going wage in Mexico. In addition, it is tax deductible. Heck, I own my own business so I pay 100% of my health insurance and it’s not deductible. Sorry guys, but i will cross the line.

    (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
    • simplelife says:

      Stand up I believe most grocery store employees work an average 26 hours a week. They dont have a guaranteed 40 hour work week. Lets face it health insurance is out of control and the cost of living is up and we are being furloughed pay cuts unemployment. This nation needs some help.

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  2. Ugluk says:

    This seems like the wrong time to strike. The economy is a shambles, and there are many people out of work who will gladly fill positions left empty by strikers. I think many people who ordinarily would not shop at stores where a strike is occurring will this time; (rightly or wrongly) they see the striking workers as ungrateful and demanding at a time when many have no job at all.

    (2) 10 Total Votes - 6 up - 4 down
  3. calvertworthington says:

    What’s the CalCoast commenter demographics? Like the ratio of folks actually receiving a paycheck versus those hovering over a PC while the maid pours a Pina colada, or the nurse re-inserts the IV. The perspective changes when the boss cuts your hours and the rent’s due.

    (1) 11 Total Votes - 6 up - 5 down
  4. CA Native says:

    The union needs to explain why they will strike and what the issues are. If it’s just over $36-$92 per month for health insurance, most people would think that’s insufficient reason for a strike and may well not honor the picket line. It makes no sense for them to go without paychecks for weeks or months over less than $100/month for health insurance. Things go up, prices increase. They get raises (which is more than many non union workers get). Be reasonable.

    (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
    • simplelife says:

      Its not just the $36-$92 a month you have to consider. Take a look at health care costs, heres an example $92 out of check for health insurance premiun, go to the doctor = co-pay $ then couple weeks later comes the good ol share of cost more $. And the more that is billed the more the share of cost is. Insurance companies are getting rich and we are going broke. What happen to the days of paying your co-pay and your done? Insurance companies are corporations and are out to maximize profit.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  5. mrcyberdoc says:

    90% voted to strike? I must know the other 10% as I have many friends in the grocery industry and none of them said they would vote to strike. As a former state employee, our monthly contribution was over $100 a month for a family and we considered that a good deal. What bill of goods is the union trying to sell their workers this time? It wasn’t that many years ago when the same union struck for the same reason and after many months had to settle for less than what was originally on the table. This idea that $92 a month may “eat up half their take home pay”! Wait, even someone who can only add and subtract wouldn’t be working if their take-home pay was only $200 a month. Where is the rest of the money going? Is the union taking it? I know their dues are very high compared to the benefits they receive (free strike signs, etc.)

    (15) 23 Total Votes - 19 up - 4 down
    • abigchocoholic says:

      Author,

      do you know the difference between “agree to strike” and “agree to strike if demands aren’t met?”

      Yeah, all the difference in the world. One means a strike and the other means maybe a strike. So don’t write the first when it’s the latter.

      (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
  6. ApathyWillKillYou says:

    There is a HUGE difference in numbers from what the TRIB article stated about the grocery strike…

    last strike cost the stores $2 BILLION in lost revenue!

    health care cost for a single going from $7 a week to $9 a week

    health care cost for a family going from $15 a week to $23 a week

    HUGE DIFFERENCE …………….

    http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/08/21/1724646/so-calif-grocery-workers-reject.html

    (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  7. Cindy says:

    “employer option would charge workers about $36 a month for single or $92 a month for family coverage.”

    “union workers say it could eat up as much as half of their take-home pay,” LOL LOL LOL

    Leave it to the union’s to jack everybody around. How many of us pay into our Employer provided medical insurance coverage? How many think that the above stated Employee rates would be a dream come true as compared to what we pay now? Gov employees need NOT repond, we know it’s all on the taxpayers backs where you’re concerned.

    (8) 26 Total Votes - 17 up - 9 down
    • willie says:

      Cindy
      I know the state government in the early 1980s started making state employees pay about one third of the employer sponsored medical.
      When retired, state employees still must pay a portion but it is less.
      It is NOT totally free.

      (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down

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