Tuesday, June 7, 2011
San Diego's union workers say they won't cross picket lines if local grocery workers go out on strike. Ten-thousand checkers, baggers and butchers at the region's largest chains have been working without a contract since March.
SAN DIEGO Union leaders say the Vons, Ralph's and Albertson's stores are trying to gut the worker's health care plans, shifting up to 80 percent of the cost to the workers. The grocery chains say they're are making a fair offer that gives workers access to excellent coverage. The AFL CIO Labor Council's 190,000 members pledged to honor a possible strike.
"If it's in their contracts that they don't have to cross a picket line to deliver a service perhaps, the teamsters for example often stop outside the picket line, so it's a way of showing solidarity and it also engages the Central Labor Council and commits us to helping those striking workers," said Lorena Gonzalez, executive director of the Labor Council.
Health care is the same issue that led to a five month strike in 2003 and 2004, and cost the stores billions.
"This isn't about shared sacrifice. We've already sacrificed. This is about maintaining basic standards," said Gonzalez.
The three supermarket chains issued a statement saying any talk of a strike is unnecessary because talks are still going on.