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Raley's union in Bay Area votes to authorize strike

Original post made on May 17, 2012

Raley's employees in the Bay Area and part of the Central Valley voted Wednesday to authorize a strike against the grocery chain, a spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 17, 2012, 7:45 AM

Comments (32)

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Posted by Splat
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 17, 2012 at 8:24 am

Here we go again. The unions have California in a strangle hold. Californians better start voting for politiians that are not beholden to unions or we are going to continue or slide to becoming irrelevant and bankrupt.

Too bad the Walmart grocery store isn't already up an running so we have a better non-union alternative for grocery shopping. If the union slugs strike Raley's, please continue to patronize them during the strike. We don't want them falling victim to the slugs.

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Posted by Raley's Shopper
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on May 17, 2012 at 8:55 am

Well, I guess this will be the final straw for Raley's. I have loved shopping there. In the last few years many my favorite products have been removed and I have to special order them. With a new Safeway and Whole Foods right up the freeway, I guess I will now make the change I have been resisting. I guess this center will be the next in line without an anchor.

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Posted by AnnaS
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 17, 2012 at 9:09 am

Like any parasitic organism in nature, unions, which are nothing but parasitic organization in California's economic system, would kill the body which feeds them if they would not be stopped.
Voting for making California a Right To Work state is the first step to start healing the economy and education.

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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on May 17, 2012 at 9:31 am

The actions of the union defy logic. With the vast selection of stores selling food in this area, it borders on ludicrous on the part of local union people. Unfortunately this will be another shopping center without an anchor store. Somehow, Wal-Mart will be held accountable for driving out the competition whereas the real culprit is the unions. Unfortunate for all the people that think any union serves a valid purpose today.

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Posted by Karl
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 17, 2012 at 10:02 am

Marxism strikes again.

U.S. House Representatives Jerry McNerney and Pete Stark must feel so proud that their ideology is spreading and seriously damaging yet another private sector business.

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Posted by Frederick
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 17, 2012 at 10:22 am

Down with organized workers! A spectre is haunting the Bay Area and it is Marxist checkout girls and bag boys, led by Stark and McNerney. The only thing we have to fear is a terrible condition where unionized grocery clerks make a living wage.

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Posted by so sad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 17, 2012 at 10:42 am

This is very sad for the people who work there. They always seem really nice. I hope they don't get caught up in the crossfire.

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Posted by sad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 17, 2012 at 11:13 am

It's hard to comment on the merits of the strike vote without knowing more details on each sides position. However, perhaps our fearless Councilmember Matt will use his elected position to punish our local Raley's store until such time as the union gets what it wants!

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Posted by pleasanton
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

Let them strike. I will shop there anyways. All Raley's is trying to do is stay compeditive with Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart uses mostly part-time minimum wage people with no benefits and that seems to be what the people want. I do not blame Raleys or Save Mart at all.

My income is down 30%, my health benefits cost 50% more than when I went on the program and the coverage is reduced. The dental is only two cleanings a year and no eye care so I am going to support union people that don't get it?

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Posted by Gina
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I was at Raley's this morning and asked about the strike vote. The Pleasanton Raley's is a non-union store except for the meat department. If there is a strike only the meat department will be on strike.

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Posted by so sad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Thanks for checking this out Gina. I was worried about the team there - I'm glad they won't be involved.

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Posted by Carlos
a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm

A strike authorization vote is a normal part of the negotiation process. It's just a vote so the union can show the company that they have the support of the membership in negotiations.

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Posted by Analyst Dude
a resident of Downtown
on May 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Gina's comment is not quite correct---the Raley's Pharmacy is also Union--
The strike authorization vote was by UFCW Local 5--this Raley's meat dept. is represented by Local 8 & the pharmacy is represented by another Union all together. So far Local 5 has NOT called for or scheduled a strike.
The Raley's trucks (as opposed to the Ozark trucks) have Teamster Union drivers & the distribution centers are also Union.
If Local 5 were to put a picket line up at this Raley's, it would effectively shut the store down since "Raley's" trucks bringing the merchandise in (the Teamsters) wouldn't cross the picket line and Local 8 (the meat department)and the pharmacy would probably honor the picket line.
None of the Raley's employees (union or non-union) want a strike, because they all know that no one wins in a strike. A strike would create a mess at this store since it is a hybrid (both Union & non-union) store. The employees have not been given any official information by Raley's management as to what would happen if a picket line were to be thrown up at this store, from what I am told.
At this point the old contract has been extended (Again!!)through June 6th, then on a day-by-day basis, subject to 7 days notice of cancellation by either side, after that. This is the same deal that Safeway & Save-Mart/Luckey's have.
Pleasanton will have it's Raley's through graduation time and the Memorial Day weekend for sure. Father's Day & the 4th of July (a Wednesday, $o no big $ale$ deal) are not so certain.

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Posted by Melanie
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on May 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I work for a partly unionized company in Pleasanton; I do not understand the need for a union in most industries. They definitely cause more problems than they solve in my personal experience.

Farming and Janitorial could be some exceptions I can think of off the top of my head.

However I do not think having an abundance of minimum wage business models such as Walmart in our community will make things better for us as a community.

Wouldn't it be nice if business owners could commit to paying a fair wage and not screw over whoever will work for the least... and if you bag groceries realize it's unreasonable demand full paid healthcare along with 15 bucks an hour.

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Posted by No more !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Any strike at Raley's really angers and saddens me. There are still SO many people out of work ! These union bosses are on the short end of an IQ scale...they just do NOT understand how money moves in our country. They buck all sensibilities.
Meat union, separate from drug union, separate from trucker's uniom. SCREAM !!! The other say 'it's not me'....yet they won't cross the picket lines. Damn ! These greedy union bosses sit fat and smug....and send the workers to the front line. It' intimidation and power to the extreme. Sad that Raley's will have to be the next in line to fold.
Shame on greedy unions. Sad for the sheep who follow.
This is exactly why the union bosses want that 'card' bill to protect union bosses. They pretend it's about union members right to vote. NO, NO, NO, it's about mid-level union tuffs to go to worker's homes and harrass, and intimidate workers to vote for strike, and to not settle,,,AND to not have a secret ballot..SO UNION BOSSES can WATCH to make sure worker sides with UNION DICTATORSHIP ! Bye to Raley's, we'll mis you,...very sad.

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Posted by Frederick
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm

No worker should ever get a raise when other workers are out of work. No worker should ever get a raise if I don't.

I've always loved Raley's except for the stinky meat dept and the uppity pharmacists. And one day a bevy of Raley's truck drivers threatened to sit on me unless I signed a petition in support of Teamsters. I signed, but I still found questionable human remains in the back of my husband's pick-up truck the next morning.

All those who voted for strike authorization did so only in hopes their staggeringly high union dues might go away. I pity these people. They make me want to vomit.

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Posted by Trudy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm

A strike authorization vote does not mean a strike will happen, first off. Second, I am a Raley's shopper and will continue to shop there regardless of the outcome of this labor action. I support their employees and management, and will show that support by continuing to spend my dollars there.

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Posted by leah
a resident of Happy Valley
on May 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm

And regardless, it will ALL get blamed on Walmart!!!

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Posted by fakenameguy
a resident of Mission Park
on May 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm

NOOOOOOOO! Rayles is the best store! I live walking distance from there and its great to just think "hmm, i feel like getting a candy bar" and being able to stroll down and pick it up. I hate safeway. It is too big and fake. Plus the produce is super gross.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on May 17, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Hey, Frederick, how about that new Walmart store that's been approved? Isn't it great! Since you lost that humiliating battle, now it's on to trying to bankrupt another grocery chain. Bravo for you, you trolling loser.

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Posted by Raley Labor Uniionist
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 17, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I want more money, I want to work less. I want more and more and more. Yeah, there's a lot of talk about competition, but that doesn't apply to union workers. Next, you'll be expecting us to work for a living, much less smile at the check-out counter. What's this world coming too.

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Posted by No more !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 17, 2012 at 10:46 pm

These unionists who just want to smear and trash any intelligent discussion just can't seem to get out of the gutter, with their whining and pretending. They're to clueless to understand how much they HURT their own causse ! whatever

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Posted by No more !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 18, 2012 at 7:07 am

I hope they don't strike. Regardless, I would shop there 'til the close. I've never met a picket line I didn't LOVE to cross ! !
However, my heart aches for Raley's nice non-union checkers.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 18, 2012 at 7:37 am

"I want more money, I want to work less. I want more and more and more."

Sounds like Corporate Management talk...

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Posted by AnnaS
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 18, 2012 at 8:51 am

Raley's of Pleasanton has a best pharmacy not only in Pleasanton, but maybe in the entire Tri-Valley area; their checkers and store assistants are always nice and ready to help. Meat department is the only place in the store where I have difficulties to find an assistance when I need it. Now, I can understand why. Thank you Gina for sharing with us this info.

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Posted by Steven
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 18, 2012 at 9:35 am

Raley's Meat department has always been the best. The people at the counter are always courteous and happy to help, whenever I need somethign. I wish them luck in their fight.

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Posted by R.Tomson
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 18, 2012 at 11:35 am

R.Tomson is a registered user.

Wow! Everyone sounds panicked over a strike vote. And most seem to think that this action is the end of Railey's. It isn't. A strike vote is simply a part of the negotiation. It is meant to show management that the union members are all on the same page. It is meant to intimidate management. And it is meant to weaken management's position in order to win more concessions for the union. It is a tactic, like in a card game, nothing more. And it will not be the last card one to be played. Think of it this way, if the members of the union were not willing to go out on strike, then management would have no incentive to take the union demands seriously or proceed further in the negotiation. So a strike vote is simply one step of many in this game.

Now, the worker's demands to Railey's may be quite absurd. We simply don't know. If they follow the usual pattern it will be a demand for an increase in wages, an increase in benefits, and a transfer of some form of control over the workers (or the workers money) to the union. These demands may take many forms. For example an increase in benefits could be as simple as not increasing worker's payments towards their own medical plan. A transfer of control could be an agreement where union dues are taken from the paycheck of non-union employees (the so called closed shop where everyone pays the union regardless of being a union member or not), or changes in work rules, or who will be in charge of what operation. It's hard to tell.

I think many of you have made the obvious observations. None of us are in the same financial position that we were four years ago. The 'Recession' may be over for some, but not for all. The majority of us have not recovered the losses that we suffered from the 'Official' recession, let alone now. Why would we support individuals who simply appear to be greedy? Individuals who demand more and more only for themselves. Individuals who already receive payments and benefits, at levels that many in our community do not receive now? Knowing all along that whatever concessions are granted, they will be reflected in higher pricing and limited selection for us.

In any case, from a management perspective, when this is all settled the bottom line is that the cost of doing business will have increased, without a corresponding increase in business income. Therefore, management will naturally resist the demands of the union. The union will say, then we'll go on strike. Management will say this is our final offer. Someone else will order a cooling down period. Both parties will be sent to arbitration. The contract will be settled with both sides conceding some point or other. Prices will increase and selection will be limited to balance out the cost increases.

There is a long way to go before this is over.

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Posted by steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on May 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Hey all you loosers who were against Walmart. Game, set, match. You argued about fair living wage, and bribery, and kids' labor being exploited in its fourin sweatshops. WE DON'T CARE! GET IT???? It's all about me getting cheaper groceries you udder loosers!!!!!! Now your talking about the Raley workers wanting a fare living wage? Who CARES? All that does is raise my grocery prices. Loosers!!!!

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Posted by union worker
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Well its funny how all of the non-union workers are against unions & are illiterate as to how they operate. The union protects us from bosses who clean house without any valid reason, we have job security because of the union, I have an excellent retirement, benefits & it takes an act of congress to fire me. Thank god I don't have to worry about some CEO of a company walking away with my retirement that I have worked 25 yrs for. Yes I make less money than most of you out there but I'm willing to do that because the trade off far outways the wages that all of you are making. There is no ceiling on my retirement & after 25 yrs of dealing with the not so polite public that must encounter every day on the job. To all of you who are suporting us in this time of need I thank you & to those of you who are not supporting us please take the time to think about what it would be like to know that everything you sacrificed & worked for can be taken away from you by a greedy employer who cares nothing about your future. Imagine your employer taking medical away from your children, a family member suffering from a life threatening disease, your retirement that you have worked so hard for. Just take the time to educate yourself on the issue before passing judgement on us or the union. We aren't asking for things we don't deserve, we are asking that they let us keep what we have worked so hard to get. The union is behind us & thank god for thatdont be fooled by corporate politics look at what they have done to our country so far. Thank you

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Posted by union worker 2
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Union worker:
1) your "future" is your responsibility. Own it.
2) your "job security" should be based on the quality and quantity of what you produce not because you are in a union that promotes mediocrity.
3) the fact that it takes an "act of congress" to fire someone in a union speaks volumes.
4)" thank god (sic) I don't have to worry about some CEO of a company walking away with my retirement that I have worked 25 yrs for " Seems you should be thanking God that you can retire after ONLY 25 yrs.
5)"There is no ceiling on my retirement" I hope you don't work for the Gov. because you and your children and your grandchildren can't afford this.
6)The "greedy employer" you cite provides your wages and gives you an opportunity to make a living. You trash the hand that feeds you and your family.
7)" look at what they have done to our country" Yes, do look. The very system you are knocking (Corporations) has provided the highest standard of living in the history of the world. Perhaps you need to educate yourself and "worry" less.
8) I work in health care and I too am a union member because I have absoutely no choice. My union is destroying the very health care you fear loosing. Like your union, "it takes an at of congress" to fire the unsafe provider regardless of the risk that union worker is to the safety of a patient.
9)Health care unions in general are a bigger threat to "your children" or " a family member suffering from a life threatening disease" far more than any CEO you love to hate. Remember that the next time you see any union health "care" worker striking in front of the hospital, clinic, emergency room that you or someone you love may need. You can be sure the sign that reads "protect patient care" is really only "protecting" what they think they "deserve".

Sincerely, a union worker too

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 21, 2012 at 5:48 pm

California is an "at will" state in most companies. That means you can be let go for any reason that is deemed necessary by the employer. That certainly is not the case with Unions who have outlived their necessity. Why should Unions continue to cost businesses more money than necessary? Why should poor performing Union employees have job security? Why should time in a job outweigh good performance in a job just because you have a Union backing you. Why should SOME jobs be protected in this manner when the majority are not. Why is this fair? Unions protect the minority of employees and in my opinion it results in a negative impact on the majority in society.

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Posted by Jake Thomas
a resident of Downtown
on May 24, 2012 at 2:18 am

How many of you have actually been to a job fair lately?
If you honestly think there's not enough people who are "skilled" to cross that picket line and take your position, enough with the talks and strike alread

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