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http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/2009/09/22/20090922biz-strike0923-ON.html

Arizona Fry's, Safeway workers take strike vote
192 commentsby Max Jarman - Sept. 23, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
More than 20,000 employees at Arizona Safeway and Fry's grocery stores could go on strike next month if an impasse in contract negotiations can't be resolved.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 99, which represents the workers, asked its members this week to approve a strike if ongoing negotiations fail.

Although votes won't be tallied until later in the week, the union believes it has more than enough support to call for a work stoppage.

It would be the first general grocery-strike authorization in decades. Meat cutters voted to strike in 1992, but a last-minute agreement avoided a walkout.

Contract negotiations are set to resume Thursday. Both sides say they are optimistic that an agreement can be reached.

"We're determined to get this resolved in negotiations," said Paul Rubin, the union's secretary-treasurer.

Safeway spokeswoman Kathy Kloo said it's the company's goal to peacefully reach new contracts without forcing anyone to think about a strike.

"No one benefits from a strike, especially in these economic times," she said.

The two grocers and the union are still smarting from a prolonged 2003 strike in Southern California. The 20-week walkout at Vons and Ralphs stores cost both sides billions of dollars in lost wages and revenue. Vons is owned by Safeway, and Ralphs by Fry's parent Kroger Co.

Safeway, Fry's and the union have been trying for almost a year to hammer out a new four-year labor agreement to replace one that expired last October. Union employees have been working under an extension to the old contract, which ends Oct 2.

"We've waited long enough for a contract, and we've waiting long enough without having a raise," said Gloria Jolivet, who works at a Fry's store in Chandler.

Although a number of non-economic issues have been agreed to, wages, pension contributions and health insurance remain stumbling blocks.

The companies' proposed 75-cent-an-hour raise, spread over three years, was called "totally unacceptable" by the union, which is asking for $1.55 spread over four years.

A proposed health-insurance co-pay of up to $15 per week also was rejected by the union.

Chris Waites, who also works at a Fry's in Chandler, has been used to paying nothing for health coverage. He said the additional $60 per month would be a hardship.

James Ramirez, who also works at a Fry's in Chandler, acknowledges that a strike, given the current economy and high unemployment, would be a hardship. He and others would be entitled to about $150 per week in strike pay should they walk out.

"That would be really hard," he said. "But it's a price that I'm willing to pay."

Fry's spokeswoman JoEllen Lynn said the company is hopeful that it can reach an agreement in the near future that is "fair to everyone."


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heard this on Mac and Gaydos today. I'm torn honestly - most wages suck for jobs like this and people need to support their families; but the economy is crap.

What's the answer?
 

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This is a right to work state. These people have got to realize the scabs will take there jobs. In this economy they won't get much public sympathy. I seen it at Phx.Transit they walked over the line with no shame whatsoever. Even as a union man all my life it will be hard to pity the strikers when people are losing everything they've worked for.
 

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I bet there will be an agreement made between these groups. Kroger can't afford to loose business and people can't afford to loose their jobs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
heard this on Mac and Gaydos today. I'm torn honestly - most wages suck for jobs like this and people need to support their families; but the economy is crap.

What's the answer?
so get a second job, work more hours.
you can say the same about mcdonalds burger king etc etc, what about the clerks at wall greens circle k and walmart, they are supporting families also, why not give everyone exactly what the want for wages?

sorry dude but thats the most assinine excuess I have ever heard.



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When it comes to bargaining, you need the whole story. From what I read, there's muddy water and any judgement on our part is moot.

In a time when companies are layig off personel by the thousands just to survive, I can't see the local 99 asking for better pay, wages, and benefits.

Pocket your union dues, be happy that you have a job, save, don't spend foolshly (sp), and pray that things get better.

Back East, unions are a way of life. Live and die by the local union.

My thoughts... Unions are for people who need a crutch, because they are a non-performers and need an excuse for somebody to save them when they get caught jacking off on the job.

if you did your job, you don't need anybody to defend you. Document everything on your own.

I'm sure there are many cases when folks did their job and got waxed and it was unfair, but Unions bring in money and the folks who pay in are ripped off. The ROI is not there for the working man/woman who pay into the union.

Most folks will do the job. When the ax falls, it's not about non-performance issues, its leadership skills or some other lie to get you out and you can not defend yourself, because the expectations are not measurable.

There are Union leaders living well on monthly dues... meanwhile the hard workers paying in are doggy paddling in the pool just trying to stay a float.:1popcorn:
 

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When I worked at the Nor Cal Albertsons Distribution Center the union there was going to strike.Although we were Teamsters and not in there union they asked the teamsters to support there strike should they strike and the Teamsters had made a statement that they might do that.Albertsons concerned that our distribution center would strike offered us a $5,000 bonus if we would sign a letter of intent to stay on the job.Everyone signed the letter and the next week we all had $5,000 in our checks.The funny thing was that the next week the union came to a agreement and there never was a strike.
 

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And right here is the problem with healthcare in America. A union member is paying nothing for coverage and is bitching about paying $60 a month for their share of the $1400 a month cost. Hate to tell the union boys but they will be out forever if they strike in this economy. People will run over them to get those jobs.
 

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That is bs, I,m a union worker retired and i pay 390 a month for my insurance for my family.
 

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I would sure be thankful to have a job right now. I got laid off on August 21st, I have submitted resumes everyday and for everyone I submit there is probably 600 resumes being submitted with it. I have not received one phone call or email in response to any submitted. The economy just plainly sucks right now. The construction industry for most really sucks. The company I worked for has no new jobs for 2009 and they have finished all of their 2008 jobs. My plan is to change direction and go into a medical field, I have started a class to become a certified phlebotomist, I just hope I can hold on until I test at the end of December. I pray that the economy changes and things get better and as I don't want to loose my horses. I told my husband he would go hungry before they did. Of course we won't go hungry. The cows will be slaughter next month so we can live on beef. I hate this staying at home thing, If I ever do find a job, I will work until my dying day, I don't think I will ever want to retire.
 

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I said I would never retire either. Guess what. June 30'th I walked away. There are more important things in life than work. It only took me till I was almost 67 to figure it out. Hopefully now I can find a job that I really like. Now that's retirement.:biggrin:
 

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I have been out of work for over a month. My job of 30 years was terrminated. So yea, you guys with jobs be glad you have it. There is not much out there right now. Don't blow the one you have in hand. PS I was paying $167.00 every 2 weeks for insurance. If $60 a month is a hardship!!! Your doing something wrong!
 

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Safeway

What would your opinion be,,,If you had worked at Safeway for say 20 years, and accumulated a lot of benefits, received several wage increases, and then Safeway to save money, cut your hours down to 20 hrs per week,so as you would not be entitled to all your previous benefits on account that you had not worked the required hours. Safeway then hired someone to work for Minimum wage to cover your 20 hrs that you had lost. At the time of the 2003 Safeway strike in Calif, this was one of the main issues. Safeway was trying to drive out some of the more senior employees, and replace them with workers starting out at minimum wage.
 

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Same story in most industries for the last 20 years. I guess you could strike and win, sue in court and win or lose it all. Unions gamble with people's lives all the time. If they lose and the industry moves to another country like steel, auto and just about all other manufacturing then all of the union members end up starving or working minimum wage jobs. There is a balance between benefits and wages and if either one gets too juicy then you can expect push back. I know plenty of Safeway employees who became millionaires on the stock working their way up from baggers to buyers or managers. Safeway was close to bankruptcy last year so things change. In this economy I would just appreciate having a job.
 

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Tritonguy, I would be pissed but you should ask the ex abco people if they would have liked to have an option. or the ex bayless; Yellowfront; Popular.
 

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It is beyond me why anyone would be on the corporation's side. All the corporations care about is the profit margin, they could care less how they effect people's lifes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It is beyond me why anyone would be on the corporation's side. All the corporations care about is the profit margin, they could care less how they effect people's lifes.
dude sometimes your just a dumbass.


with out "corporate" and there profits and MONEY there would be NO employees.

in the free market people work for the compitition if there was better pay or benifits., the market will dictate whats going to happen with employees.



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dude sometimes your just a dumbass.


with out "corporate" and there profits and MONEY there would be NO employees.

in the free market people work for the compitition if there was better pay or benifits., the market will dictate whats going to happen with employees.
Yeah smart guy, they will just move the labor to china or something.
 
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