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Grocery Workers Demonstrate Outside Stores, Threaten Strike

Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons workers ask customers to support them if a strike were to happen, August 27, 2019.
Matthew Bowler
Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons workers ask customers to support them if a strike were to happen, August 27, 2019.

Unionized grocery workers demonstrated outside stores throughout San Diego Tuesday and threatened to strike if they aren't offered what they consider a living wage.

The employees of Ralphs, Albertsons and Vons — who are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union — said most grocery store employees are making around $15 to $16 per hour. This, they said, is not a living wage in San Diego and the raises offered by the companies amount to "nickles and dimes."

Grocery Workers Demonstrate Outside Stores, Threaten Strike
Listen to this story by Matt Hoffman.
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"We’re going to make them hear us," said Jose Llamas who works at Vons. "Otherwise we’re going on strike. I mean I’m ready — I’m pretty upset just for nickels and dimes that's disgusting."

In a statement, Ralphs says it is committed to higher wages for its employees, but right now it and the union are “far apart on wages." Vons and Albertsons say they are committed to providing employees with a competitive pay and benefits.

The unions and the grocery stores will head back to the bargaining table next week. If a deal cannot be agreed on, the workers could go on strike, with Ralph stores being first.

In ten years, one in four people living in San Diego County will be a senior citizen. Plus, the county is asking voters to check their registration after “motor voter” problems, which led to nearly 84,000 duplicate voter records statewide. Also ahead on today’s podcast: San Diego immigration courts lead the nation in returning asylum-seekers to Mexico and horse deaths are down at Del Mar this summer, but so is attendance.

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