Employees of Ralph’s and Pavilions May Go on Strike

Pavilions at 8969 Santa Monica Blvd.

Employees of two of West Hollywood’s largest grocery stores, Pavilions and Ralphs, may go on strike if Local 770 of the United Food and Commercial Workers union is unable to get the owners of those stores to come to terms on the union contract.

Officials with Local 770 of the United Food and Commercial Workers union announced today that its members have voted to approve a strike authorization stemming from unproductive contract negotiations with grocery companies.

“Southern California grocery workers voted in large numbers, and overwhelmingly rejected the unfair terms that have been proposed by Ralphs, Albertsons, and Vons,” said UFCW Local 770 President John Grant.  Pavilions is part of the Vons brand, while Vons is owned by Albertsons.

The voting was conducted Monday and Tuesday of this week, Grant said. Exact tallies of the votes were not immediately released.  However, on its website Local 770 says that 96% of the stores union members voted against the contract.

The contract between the union and the companies expired in March. The strike authorization vote means union negotiators have the power to call for a strike, if deemed necessary.

Grant said the union plans to meet Thursday with picket captains to discuss “various forms of economic protest” to oppose the failure of negotiations and to try to “get these companies back on the right path to provide a fair contract.” The job actions could include asking customers to boycott stores, Grant said.

Ralphs at 1233 N. La Brea Ave.

Meetings are pending next week involving the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor to discuss authorizations for the member unions to honor possible picket lines, Grant said.

The next bargaining sessions involving the union and the companies are scheduled for July 10, 11, and 12, Grant said. 

Mike Shimpock, communications director for Local 770, said the negotiations are centered on the rate of contributions that the store owners agree to make to a fund that covers health care and pensions for their employees who are union members.

Employees of Gelsons also are members of the union.  Shimpock said Gelsons traditionally signs on the contract once negotiaoins have been completed. “Gelson’s has been a very good employer,”  he said.  “We don’t anticipate there being an issue with Gelson’s.”

Employees of Whole Foods, Smart and Final, and Trader Joes are not members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union.


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Larry Block
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Larry Block

West Hollywood has always enforced a living wage and offered workers rights protections. In this case the unions take over supermarkets, then hotels, then the cannabis, and the restaurants and take a cut of workers pays.. force employers to pay more and offer benefits and force prices up all around and kiss Aging In Place goodbye.

HoosierDaddy
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HoosierDaddy

Sure, as long as you don’t mind paying higher and higher prices for groceries, go ahead and support the strike

Eric Jon Schmidt
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Eric Jon Schmidt

Prices will go up no matter what. The union does not make the prices go up, the greed of the corporate offices do that. It would happen even if there wasn’t a union. Pavillions (and other stores) have to pay for their new remodel, so rather than make the stockholders pay for it, they choose the get the money from the employees. Gasoline prices are an example of pricing going up without union pressure. It’s all about increasing profits. People who live in LA need a higher living wage than most other cities and This is why I support collective… Read more »

Ken Howard
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Ken Howard

Amen, Eric Jon Schmidt. It all comes down to this: “The union does not make the prices go up, the greed of the corporate offices do that”. EXACTLY. I fully support the strike, and even “worse”. I hope the workers learn from early 20th-Century activists and agitate for better pay and working conditions. We need more aggressive Democratic Socialist activism to fight back against the completely unbridled corporate greed destroying America’s working class and middle class. POWER TO THE PEOPLE! Interested parties should join here: https://act.dsausa.org/donate/membership/

Eric Jon Schmidt
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Eric Jon Schmidt

I will not cross a picket line. I support union workers and their right to fight for a living wage, health benefits and safe working environments.

Kelly Thompson
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Kelly Thompson

And Pavilions is spending millions on redoing the store – again – and in depressing colors of decayed grey.

FB1
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FB1

And ugly bright too.

COMMON-SENSO
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COMMON-SENSO

I get it. Corporations don’t want to pay the poor for health and other benefits -even when profits are higher. They forget that if it wasn’t for the low-pay employees, they would not make much money. Self-Check-out machines? Ha! Have you seem the theft these companies would face on average numbers? Book-smart at the grocery store don’t even know how to solve a problem when items are incorrectly scanned. Grocery stores need people to greet, serve, stock, and clean (yes, all of us messes)! You think a self-check out machine is going to do that now? Or you can just… Read more »

FB1
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FB1

MacDonald’s is starting to implement touch screen ordering / paying across the country (already have it in Europe). So another low skill job demanding more than what their skills provide…will be wiped out. Just a fact. Don’t kill the messenger.

kenton
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kenton

Totally agree! The stores practically force customers to check themselves out and bag their own groceries so they can save $$$ but do the customers get ANY portion if that saved $$ in terms of lower prices?? No – goes to the sr management bonus pool. —- The way the prices are already priced builds in “customer service” and “vendor admin costs”. This is already built in to the cost of the groceries!!

Eric Jon Schmidt
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Eric Jon Schmidt

It’s ok. We have a Sprouts store about to open. In my opinion, it’s better than any of them.

JF1
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JF1

Pretty soon we’ll have robotic check out. It doesn’t take much to scan an item and put it in a bag…they already have us doing that ourselves to some degree with the self-check out. It’s a matter of time before the demand of a certain pay level and benefits are totally out of whack with the skill set needed to do the job.

WeHoMikey
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WeHoMikey

Funny…Costco employees do the exact same jobs, yet get paid quite well. Why can’t Ralph’s, Albertsons, et al, behave like adults, paying wags that lets their own employees feed their families??

FB1
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FB1

They’ll be the next to go. Just like parking attendants…now we pay at a kiosk.

HoosierDaddy
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HoosierDaddy

I suspect that Costco has much higher margins

mike
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mike

I’m surprised the article stated Trader Joes is not part of the union. When I worked for Vendome Stores the Retail Clerks attempted to unionize us stating they wanted us to have the same benefits as Trader Joes. The problem was we had better benefits than T.J. and they wanted us to be equal to them.

kab1200
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kab1200

Baloney, you’ve never done this work, obviously.

FB1
Guest
FB1

oh, but I have..and realized I wasn’t going to get anywhere working two jobs that required zero skill and paid nothing. So I busted my ass, took out a student loan (which I’m still paying off) and worked my way up. All the while I was doing that, I worked those two jobs, scanning groceries. And damn proud of it.

weho adjacent
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weho adjacent

nobody cares.

Ken Howard
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Ken Howard

Actually, they do. People care about paying their rent. About feeding their families. About having a decent place to live. About having a standard of living commensurate with all the work they do to earn it, yet far too many are denied a living wage despite working diligently full time, all due to corporate greed that impoverishes the workers while enriching the senior management and ownership beyond any measure of wealth. RISE UP! POWER TO THE PEOPLE! Interested parties should join here: https://act.dsausa.org/donate/membership/

Ken Howard
Guest
Ken Howard

I think it’s great that you worked hard. ALL workers deserve the opportunity to have jobs, to have a living wage, to have safe and comfortable working conditions, and to share in the fruits of their labor. It all comes down to this: “The union does not make the prices go up, the greed of the corporate offices do that”. EXACTLY. I fully support a strike. I hope the workers learn from early 20th-Century activists and agitate for better pay and working conditions, no matter what it takes. We need more aggressive Democratic Socialist activism to fight back against the… Read more »