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Striking butchers rallying in front of Pleasanton Raley's supermarket although other workers in store aren't unionized, aren't on strike

Original post made on Nov 5, 2012

Members of the butchers union are demonstrating along the front walkways of the Raley's Supermarket on Sunol Boulevard, asking shoppers to take their business elsewhere while they strike against reduced benefit changes the company is seeking.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, November 5, 2012, 7:24 AM

Comments (29)

Posted by Ptown native
a resident of Stoneridge
on Nov 5, 2012 at 8:38 am

These people should be very appreciative
that they have a job and get back to work!
They're no more special than anyone else.
Yet it seems like union workers feel they are
the only ones who 'labor''. I will cross that
pickett line and do my shopping. I'll bag my
own groceries if I need to. I don't 'need' a
spoiled union worker to do that. Made me
laugh to read the union is complaining that
Raleys is intimidating them. Really???

Posted by It's Your Wallet
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2012 at 9:03 am

I urge all people of the Tri-Valley to please patronize Raley's during this strike. Raley's has to remain competitive. Hence, this is not an issue of the union versus Raley's. It is an issue of the union versus you. If the union wins, your grocery prices will increase even more rapidly than they would otherwise.

I am not associated with Raley's, I am just a regular Pleasanton resident with no connections to this issue. However, I am smart enough to realize that unions continue to significantly hurt the economy of California and our country. I am getting sick and tired of union workers vacuuming my wallet for compensation and benefits beyond what they would get in a competitive economy.

So, do the right thing, and walk right past the pickets and buy your groceries. It's the unions vs. your wallet.

Posted by Pleasantonian
a resident of Mission Park
on Nov 5, 2012 at 9:07 am

Pleasantonian is a registered user.

Just an FYI: Our Raley's is NOT unionized! Only the meat department staff is union and that is who is on strike. If you remember, when Raley's opened about 20 years ago, union workers picketed them for well over a year since they weren't union. I totally support our Raley's and will continue to shop there.

Posted by Claudete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2012 at 9:16 am

I agree with this economy and so many businesses closing, creating loss of jobs, union employees are lucky to only have to deal with:

"..freeze in pay increases for two years and eliminate the premiums paid for employees working Sundays, night and holidays, but retained the one week of paid vacation and four paid holidays employees currently receive.."

Many unemployed individuals with families would be appreciative to be in your shoes ~

Posted by helen
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Nov 5, 2012 at 9:30 am

I just called Raleys, Pleasanton, to confirm what Pleasantonian said about just the meat department being on strike...and she is correct.
You bet I will cross the meat department's union's pickets.

Posted by Frugal Shopper
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 5, 2012 at 9:42 am

I too am weary of union greed. They should be thankful that they have job. If there is a strike I will go out of my way to patronize the store.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Nov 5, 2012 at 10:22 am

I also am sick and tired of union greed. And I swear to you I did not jump from one computer to the next sending the above messages. Honest.

Companies should be able to set their own wage standards so that owners continue to make millions while butchers realize this is America and that's how things are supposed to be. And don't anyone DARE say that maybe owners could take a cut. Because owners are supposed to make millions while we all support them by busting uppitty unions who think their members deserve a fair living wage. Not everybody has that or deserves that. What makes them think they deserve that?

Millionaires are people, too!!!

Posted by Bill Carman
a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 5, 2012 at 11:02 am

What a bunch of mean spirited right wingers we have in Pleasanton!
Since Reagan, the middle class has been decimated by the likes of WalMart and southern right to work states. Unions, while, difficult to deal with, does represent a force for good livable wages and benefits.
What will all of you do when Romney loses tomorrow? Probably be out waving flags on Hopyard and Valley

Posted by Ptown native
a resident of Stoneridge
on Nov 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm

That's funny because the rest I us think it's the
Unions that are mean and pushy and spoiled.
Why do they get to Demand 'anything'? It's not
a fairy tale. The work that union-workers do is
no better and sometimes worse than any
non-union worker. I've worked alongside union-
workers...they're very limited in what they can do.

Posted by Dave F
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Yeah! Lets get back to the good ol' days, when Ford Motor Co. could hire Detroit police & gun down strikers in the streets! Yeeeeaaaaahhooooo!

Posted by Big B
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm

These workers are simply trying to protect their current working conditions, they are not asking for anything new or in addition to what was already guaranteed. Big business continues to screw the workers! Profits for businesses are at an all time high and yet none is "trickling" down to those doing the work. How can so many of you continue to blindly support this- do you hear yourself complaining? You say the so many have it bad, yet you want your neighbors to get it even worse! What a bizarre, twisted mentality. Thank goodness they have their union. I wont be shopping anywhere near there!

Posted by Kangaroo
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm

The unions are not letting non union members help get the power repaired
on the east coast. There are people freezing, starving, dying, can't get gas and
they are at the mercy of the UNIONS. Are you kidding me? Unions are obamas
biggest supporters. Do you want you and your family at the mercy of the unions?

Posted by Anti-union
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm

So unions threw a tantrum. let them stand in the corner !
I just got some great hot soup there an hour ago.

Posted by Anti-union
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm

It's only the meat dept.

Posted by b
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2012 at 9:44 pm

You all have it wrong. This is free market capitalism at its finest.

A company offers wages. Employees offer their labor. If they agree on a price, business happens. If they don't agree, there's no transaction.

For my part, I'm grabbing a bucket of popcorn and settling in to watch. World Series, election, Raley's labor dispute. A great couple weeks for spectator sports.

Posted by son to vacant - 40000 sq'
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Working conditions? Come on, this is all about money and union control.

"These workers are simply trying to protect their current working conditions"

Posted by Big B
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Only with the anti union folks do facts not mean anything- the striking workers are asking for nothing, just protecting their current working conditions. If you keep saying it enough, you all believe your shrill is the truth. Yet when your work conditions are shredded by the greed of big business- you blame a Dem. politician. I for one am tired of your whining.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2012 at 6:54 am

Well, you are all partially right, and wrong. As usual you've mixed up the facts of a situation to fit your own particular view of how things 'ought to be'. This one is no different. Reminds me of my wife. Constantly complaining that she doesn't understand why I'm just not living my life according to her perfectly logical demand for absolute conformance.

So from my view, there are two categories to consider. Category 'A' (them) and category 'B' (us).

For category 'A', it is true that big business is making billions of dollars from our purchasing. They continuing to move themselves further into their elite world, leaving everyone else to just 'tough it out'. These are indeed the Bankers, Wall Street, big Tech companies and giant retail chains like Walmart. These are also industries that do not have unions.

Then there's category 'B', other businesses such as retail stores, restaurants, hotels and even chain grocery stores are not rolling in the dough. This is where most of us work and they are just holding their own. Many have and are still going under. The process is slow as they slip away, one by one. One hardly even notices it. These seem to be the industries that do have unions.

Since 2008, business competition is fierce. Profits are small. Until the economic prosperity that we all enjoyed prior to 2008 returns, category 'B' folks will continue to suffer.

This brings us to the reality of living. While I can rage and rant at category 'A's prosperity over me, and how unfair it is, hate them for it, I still have to live in the real world and keep feeding the family.

I clearly understand that unions want to leave the 'B' area of life behind and elevate themselves up to the 'A's. In spite of all the rhetoric of hating the 'A' folks, in reality they love them. They want to be one of them. And I say they should try and go for it. But I do not support their improvement by denying a more sustainable life for myself.

Business must make a profit or there is no business. Every time the union extracts higher wages or benefits for themselves, the cost of living for the rest of the 'B' group goes up. Every time they scream that they only want equality, that they just want to maintain their working conditions, the rest of us pay their cost. We pay their cost through higher prices at the stores where we must shop, as well as us having to listed to what sounds like spoiled children throwing a tantrum - Its Not Fair!

Given the current state of the economy, I don't think I will support the selfishness of a few, against the penalty it forces upon the many. They're right - Its Not Fair!

Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Nov 6, 2012 at 8:12 am

For all you union members who want to be as rich as Donald Trump, I've had it. You only wish you had the acumen and skill and keen insight that a Donald Trump has. Stop your fantasy that you deserve a living wage in tolerable work conditions. I've never had such, so why should you?

Posted by Mike
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2012 at 9:21 am

BigB States "...they are not asking for anything new or in addition to what was already guaranteed."

I have a problem with the term guaranteed. What they are trying to protect is what was being provided. There is no guarantee that it will continue. Economic reality is that every business needs to adjust to changing market conditions. From what I have read, the local grocery business is undergoing a significant structural change. If unions don't become part of the solution they will continue to be more and more marginalized.

Posted by It's Your Wallet
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Bill Carman,

Are you kidding?? With all the industries that the unions have put out of business in the U. S. (i.e. automobiles, steel, aluminum,railroads, shipping, textiles, .............). With unionized goverment worker compensation on average TWICE that of private-sector workers? With obscene unionized goverment worker pensions (often full salary for life while retiring at age 55)???!!! With police chiefs and fire chiefs retire at 55 with $400,000 pensions for life, only to go get another chief job at $400,000 per year? And you have the audacity to call us "mean spirited"? Are you kidding me?!!!

P. S. Are you one of the union slugs bilking the taxpayers? Are you a union slug driving up the cost of everything? Are you a union slug responsible for driving so many industries out of the country?

Posted by Ptown native
a resident of Stoneridge
on Nov 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I urge you to read this article regarding the
people who have gone to help the East Coast.
The Unions are turning them away.
It's strong arming!.... And selfish and sellcentered!
All they care about is their own paycheck.
Everyone else be damned.

Web Link

Posted by JF
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Nov 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Unions are so worrie about how much companies CEOs make a year.I am asking how much the Union CEO makes a year , come on people get to work. your lucky your have a job.
look inside your union how much they make then complain about everybodi else... be serious..

Posted by DavidA
a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 8, 2012 at 8:58 pm

I hate to use a pun, but "where's the beef". I cant find specifics in the article, but I presume the butcher are being asked to pick up a portion or all of their medical insurance premium coverage paid by the employee group rate? How classic that they would state our wages are being reduced and the more emotional but incorrect statement that benefits would be denied to their children. I have had two salary cuts reducing my pay by roughly 30 percent, and the medical insurance cost I kick in has gone up, plus the out of pocket expense for office visits and meds has increased. My husband was on unemployment for one year before re-training and now making half of his prior salary.

The union is ridiculous to think, just like public employees, that they shouldnt have to pay in part for their BENEFITS. Raley's has challenges from competition and their high-end niche which does not work any more due to the economy. It is logical to restructure and reduce costs in order to make a profit and stay in business. I mean what happens to the guy stocking shelves or delivering paper goods if the grocery store goes under???
Ditto regarding the past Castlewood employee strike. And WHY in the heck would our then City Council get involved??? Let the well paid union negotiators represent the workers, and dont spend public tax payer money by designating city staff time and resources to facilitate the city council actions. Dont repeat this mistake.

Posted by common sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I seriously doubt as the article said there are 7,000 butchers working in the Raley/Nob Hill/Bel Air chain. The total number of workers in all those stores is about 13,700. A more realistic number would be 1,500. That being said, since the butchers are the only ones unionized, can they control the other 12,000 workers when it comes to the others lifes? I would suggest the workers who are not union, show up at the markets and let people know what is going on.

Posted by Sherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Liked your story, though at about the second sentence things already weren't ringing true. Such as, your comment about your husband. What's your husband's name, David? Seems you may be missing a card or two.

Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 11, 2012 at 1:17 am

One thing we know for sure: the grocery store workers at Raley's, unionized or not, don't live in Pleasanton.

They can't afford to.

Neither can most of Pleasanton's teachers, firefighters, or police officers.

But that's the fault of teachers, firefighters, meatcutters, and cops for not becoming vice-presidents of Dell or inheriting money. Teaching, firefighting, policing, and working in a grocery store are all "loser" jobs and should be treated as such.

Oh...uh...almost forgot...unions are the work of Satan. Some guy on FOX told me so. And FOX ain't never wrong. Just ask President Romney.

Posted by Indeed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2012 at 9:32 am

I know some people who work there and they live in Pleasanton and their kids attend Pleasanton schools. If the butchers get their way, they could be in trouble though.

Posted by Bryan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Daniel, Why can't firefighters or police officers afford to live in Pleasanton? Their average salary is higher than the average income of Pleasanton residents. Maybe they choose to live else where.

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