Raley's, Nob Hill Foods Grocery Workers Resume Contract Talks One Week Into Strike

The strike, involving an estimated 7,000 grocery workers in northern and central California, started Nov. 4

By Bay City News Service

Contract talks between striking grocery workers and the management of Raley's and Nob Hill Foods grocery stores resumed today, according to union officials.

Talks resumed as of 10 a.m. today, but picket lines continue, according to a statement posted on the web site of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5.

"While this is a positive development, it is no time to let down our guard," the statement read. "The strength exhibited on our picket lines and our success in diverting customers to other stores will bring the company to its senses and lead to our victory."

The strike, involving an estimated 7,000 grocery workers in northern and central California, started Nov. 4 when Raley's officials implemented the company's "last, best and final" contract proposals after 15 months of negotiations.

The changes included a two-year wage freeze and the elimination of the premiums paid for employees working Sundays, nights and holidays. Raley's spokesman John Segale said at the time that Raley's urgently needed to cut costs in a "fiercely competitive" market.

He said the Sacramento-based chain, which includes Raley's, Nob Hill Foods and Bel Air stores, has closed five stores in the past year and seen the opening or expansion of 240 non-union stores in its markets since 2008. Raley's and Nob Hill Foods have more than two dozen stores located in the Bay Area.

Kimberley Peterson Roberts November 13, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Raley's should be ashamed of themselves. These workers work really hard and many have been there for many years. I have been bringing dozens of donghnuts every week to support them and I have not crossed the picket line once. The temporary workers actually thought the doughnuts were for them----- I said "Sorry about your luck!" Hang in their guys, hopefully these talks will end with a contract that is reasonable for all sides. But they really should do a audit of their finances I agree!
Kimberley Peterson Roberts November 13, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I agree with that!
G Man November 13, 2012 at 04:15 PM
These union punks should be ashamed of themselves (but, I know they won't). My wife went to Raley's the other day. She said the picketers we extremely rude, obnoxious, and very threatening. They were menacing to customers and were essentially terrorizing little old ladies. Way to go guys. If i had been there, i likely would have had to whoop someone's ass. Anyway, i told my wife to do as the strikers demanded - GO TO SAFEWAY and NEVER GO BACK TO RALEY'S, EVER!!! We are also asking everyone we know to NEVER shop at Raley's ever again. Why would anyone want to give their money to such mean people? In an effort to put more money in their pockets, these folks may soon find themselves WITHOUT jobs altogether.
Mark Kalagorgevich November 13, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Perhaps approaching striking workers with respect would get a friendlier response than trying to ignore them. I have not been a union member in 40 years, but respect the working class of America and support those that have brought us so much improvements in compensation the work place environment. I asked the picketers what the issues were and was clearly and respectfully treated. It was explained that this strike is not over wages or even an unwillingness to expect some cuts. The issue is Raley's executives have chosen to cut retirement benefits, including health, without disclosing financial need information. If the books show that income will not support current cost levels, share that information and ask workers how they might best contribute to a solution. Management leads best when it does not dictate decisions shrouded in secrecy or cut worker compensation while increasing their own. I've shopped Raleys for over 20 years and know managers and employees. When they resolve the dispute I'll return. In the mean while, Safeway is right around the corner.
G Man November 14, 2012 at 06:55 AM
Mark, why should I (or my wife) have to "approach" the picketers at all? They should understand that it is ultimately MY dollars that pay their wages/benefits. Whatever dispute they have with management or owners should be worked out between those two parties. We customers haven't done anything wrong. Again, it is WE customers who provide the jobs. For that fact, one would expect that we were treated with a bit more respect and not harassed. As i stated earlier, we are done with Raley's. No mas! It was overpriced anyway (most certainly due to the exhorbitant wages and benefits of union workers).


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