Monday, July 30, 2007

[olympiaworkers] [Fwd: Support Grocery Workers]

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Support Grocery Workers
From: "Linda Averill" <>
Date: Sat, July 28, 2007 12:38 pm
To: "Linda Averill" <>

Please Forward Widely!!!

July 28, 2007

Dear labor activists,

We are writing to alert you to the campaign by union grocery workers to
win improved wages and benefits for themselves and their families. As you
may have heard, Locals 21, 44, and 81 of United Food and Commercial
Workers are negotiating their next three-year contract with Kroger (QFC
and Fred Meyer), Safeway, and Albertsons. The union is determined to win
its 20,000 members better wages and health benefits to keep up with
soaring living costs in the Puget Sound area.

As of Wednesday, July 25, 2007, the employers have sent signals to
UFCW’s bargaining team that they expect workers to take concessions as a
condition of reaching a tentative contract agreement. Workers are in no
position to give concessions â€" nor is there any reason they should! All
three of these national chains are extremely profitable and rank among the
50 richest corporations in the U.S., according to Fortune Magazine.
Together, they banked $8 billion in profit last year alone. Meanwhile:
• The average grocery worker makes $13 an hour. Forty percent make less
than $10 per hour. And the average work week is only 26 hours/week.
• If workers call in sick they lose a day’s pay.
• It takes 10 months on the job before a worker can get family health
care coverage.

It is in the interest of all workers, organized and unorganized, to see
that UFCW members get a fair contract with living wages, benefits, and
conditions. We want to ensure that other Puget Sound employers feel the
pressure to raise wages and benefits, not lower them, Wal-Mart style.

At this point, plans are developing for rallies and other public actions
to support grocery workers. Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS)
will pass along updates as we learn of them. You can also receive your own
updates by signing up at the Northwest grocery workers website:

Until public actions are announced there are other things you can do:
• Write letters to the local newspapers in support of grocery workers
and the union.
• When you shop at these stores, take a few minutes to let the workers
know you support them, and tell management that their employees deserve
living wages and benefits.
• Inform your union or community organization that UFCW is negotiating
for: 1) wages that keep up with Puget Sound living costs; 2) affordable
health care; 3) sick leave and family-friendly scheduling (currently
workers’ schedules are posted only three days in advance).

In solidarity,

Linda Averill and Mike Jung on behalf of
Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity

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