November 22, 2006
(Washington, DC)—Across the country, grocery workers want career jobs with affordable health care and are standing together to achieve their goal. Supermarket workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) have launched a national store-to-store movement of workers supporting each other through in-store actions, a website and other support-building activities.
UFCW members at supermarkets across the country will wear stickers to work on November 21-26th, to demonstrate unity in showing their appreciation for the loyalty of the customers and communities that they serve.
The stickers are part of a larger, nationwide effort to bargain for better jobs for grocery workers. Nearly half a million UFCW grocery workers’ contracts are up for negotiation over the next 18 months, including 70,000 UFCW members in Southern California and in stores across the country and in Canada. The website, www.groceryworkersunited.com offers workers and supporters downloads of store flyers, videos, photos and news from bargaining tables across the country.
Last month, grocery workers all along the West Coast wore stickers expressing their need for affordable, quality health care. Now, in-store action is spreading across the entire nation as grocery workers wear this month’s sticker, which reads: “Serving Customers, Serving the Community.”
“The customers have been very supportive of the stickers,” adds UFCW Local 21 member and Safeway employee Vee Maksirisombat of Seattle, Washington. “It lets them know that we support our communities.”
“We’re all working for the same things: better benefits, better wages and job security. If we all work together, with the support of the community, to fight for the things we need, we’ll be stronger when we bargain,” said Leroy Gardner, UFCW Local 400 member and an employee at Giant Foods in Bethesda, Maryland.