Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Grocery Workers Battling Over Health Insurance Vote to Authorize A Strike

grocerystore.jpg
Photo by Vitaly M via Shutterstock
LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

Grocery workers negotiating for a better health care plan have rejected a proposal by the management of Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons.

More than 90 percent of the eligible 62,000 unionized workers in the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 voted this weekend to reject the contract and authorize a strike, which could happen as soon as this week.

Supermarket chains may come back with a better offer, the Orange County Register Reports. If not, union members could decide to give immediate notice to strike and then walk out 72 hours later.

In the meantime, grocery stores that could be affected by a strike began taking applications from new workers this week that would replace the strikers.

Support for LAist comes from

Both sides say that they'd like to avoid a strike, because the 141 day-strike in 2003 ended up hurting everyone. Grocery stores lost over $1 billion in revenue, and some workers, including one who spoke at the union's meeting on Friday, felt that they didn't gain much.

The Orange County Register noted the exchange:

"How can we trust that this isn't going to turn out like '03," one male worker asked union leaders Friday during an informational meeting. "We gained nothing in five months. Not only did we gain nothing, we lost a lot." Union leader Greg Conger responded: "I don't think you ever recover from a 141-day strike. And you certainly never forget. But if you are not being treated fairly, you still have to stand up and fight."

Both the Orange County Register and Orange County Weekly have a list of places to shop, if the strike moves forward.