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Huizar to Rally in Support of Grocery Workers

The council member will present a letter of support at the Vons store on Figueroa at 4 p.m. today on behalf of 62,000 supermarket employees who could begin a strike Sunday evening.

is scheduled to present a letter Saturday afternoon to the management of the Vons supermarket on the corner of Figueroa Street and Colorado Boulevard in support of some 62,000 grocery workers from the Vons/Pavillions, Ralphs and Albertsons supermarket chains who could begin an indefinite strike throughout Southern California starting Sunday evening.

Huizar will lead a group of community members, clergy and workers from the United Food and Commercial Workers labor union into the Vons supermarket on 7311 N Figueroa St. in Eagle Rock, where the councilmember will present the letter at 4 p.m. Saturday, according to CD 14 Director of Communications Rick Coca.

The UFCW-allied workers gave a 72-hour notice to the managements of the supermarkets Thursday, authorizing a strike.

“The corporations’ current healthcare proposal would significantly increase out-of-pocket costs for grocery workers, requiring them to contribute as much as 50 percent of their take-home pay for healthcare,” said a news statement issued by Huizar’s office.

Stay tuned to Eagle Rock Patch for updates on this story.

Michael Larsen September 17, 2011 at 07:06 PM
Is it "50 percent of their take-home pay for healthcare" or that they'll have to cover 50% of their health insurance premiums? How could Von's REQUIRE workers to pay for anything?
Ajay Singh (Editor) September 17, 2011 at 07:14 PM
Good question, Michael—checking with Huizar's office. The news statement says, word for word: "The corporations’ current healthcare proposal would significantly increase out of pocket costs for grocery workers, requiring them to contribute a[s] much as 50 percent of their take home pay for healthcare."
scott johnson September 17, 2011 at 09:07 PM
That does not sound right but then it would be the time that CD 14 got their facts wrong.
scott johnson September 17, 2011 at 09:10 PM
Meant " it would not be the first time that CD 14 got their facts wrong."
martin j vasquez jr September 17, 2011 at 09:51 PM
and jose huizar get it for free?
Michael Larsen September 18, 2011 at 01:01 AM
Here's what the Daily News story says: "Under the most recent industry offer, workers would pay about $36 per month for individual health insurance, or $92 per month for family coverage. That marks a rise of roughly $2 a week." I'm no math wizard, but 8 bucks a month cannot equal half of a typical store worker's take home pay.
Ajay Singh (Editor) September 18, 2011 at 01:12 AM
Michael—A UFCW spokesman confirms that while negotiations are still underway and that he's not privy to the latest developments, the workers could be asked to pay *up to* 50 percent of their pay to compensate for the shortfall in their health care funding.
dooner September 18, 2011 at 01:46 AM
With the exception of EagleRockPatch, LA's media seems to have bought the company line that "it's only $36 a month". Yes, the premium being discussed might be $36 but they fail to look at all the other healthcare costs involved in the company offer - increases in co-pays, lowered coverage, higher deductibles, etc. When looking at the complete package being offered by the employers, a grocery worker making $26,000 a year would be asked to pay around $11,000 for medical costs each year. The companies like to spin the "it's only $36 a month" story because it makes the workers seem unreasonable and turns public opinion against them - and because most modern "journalists" are too lazy (or ill trained) to actually investigate beyond company talking points. Thank you to The Patch for bringing journalism back to the news.
Susan R September 18, 2011 at 03:01 PM
It is a bad time to be striking with the high unemployment rate. There are lots of people that would love to even get a minimum wage job with no benefits right now. These workers are putting their jobs at risk, at a veryhigh risk.
Michael Larsen September 18, 2011 at 03:35 PM
"...who guarantee those profits,” said Dooner (he uses one name), president of the Local 871 International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. " @dooner, at least introduce yourself and your affiliations before accusing others of "spin" and "talking points". As a consumer, I will be more than happy to only shop at Fresh&Easy, Trader Joes, and Super King if there is a strike. They all have enthusiastic, knowledgeable, customer service-oriented employees who make my shopping experience a positive one.
martin j vasquez jr September 19, 2011 at 03:14 AM
thanks for the info.
martin j vasquez jr September 19, 2011 at 03:22 AM
welcome to the real word , i work for gpc for over 30 years evry year my heath care whent up i was just happy to have heath care for my family now the unions whant to make it see like the is the end of the word it is thanks for all this cooks and liars politicians .
jayres September 19, 2011 at 08:36 AM
I'd like to thank Jose Huizar for his letter of support. It is essential that public officials interject themselves into a labor dispute between a private company and its organized workforce. If it was a public sector union he could simply greenlight the union demands at the expense of the taxpayer and for his own job security, but I doubt these companies will be seeking financial advise/negotiation strategies from LA city officials. Future bankruptcy isn't the direction they are looking to move the company towards. For the record, I will not cross the lines, its not so much about supporting the cause but mostly because I grew up in Detroit, a real union town, where strikes are supported almost universally and if you crossed the line, you did so at your own peril. Economically, this might not be the best time to go on strike with so many Angelinos out of a job, but politically this is the right time for Jose Huizar to make a symbolic gesture that will help him keep his. Solidarity Brother!
Ken Camp September 28, 2011 at 08:34 PM
This is the usual rallying cry of those who are so pampered and spoiled that they have never had to fight for their rights, on the job and off. Turn it around and you will find abusive bosses exploiting their workers' fears of losing their jobs in this economy. So everyone sit tight and shut up and allow your rights to be trampled just because an inordinate number of people are unemployed. The tea baggers would say that is their problem.

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