National Labor Gets Involved, Locals Promise Dramatic Development

Oct 31, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

The unions are not going down without a fight.

Yesterday, John Sweeney, president, AFL-CIO announced the creation of a multi-union strike fund to pay picketing grocery workers represented by the United Food and Commercial
Workers (UFCW) in Southern California and elsewhere.

“They’re taking on every one of us up here,” Sweeney said at a news conference in Washington. “They’re taking on everybody who cares about America’s families getting the health
care they need at a price they can afford. These workers are not alone and have the full support of the entire union movement and our allies.”

The president of the UFCW, Doug Dority said, “We fully intend to pay strike benefits as long as we have to pay them. We will not allow the employer to starve our members back
to work.”

In another possibly related development, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union in Los Angeles has promised to make an announcement at 9 a.m. (PST) today, of what it calls
“a dramatic development,” that will affect millions of consumers in Southern California.

Moderator’s Comment: What are your latest thoughts on the grocery workers strike?

This is insane.

Based on estimates we’ve been given, the strike is going to cost the three chains in the vicinity of $80 million in quarterly revenues for every month it
goes on.

The union is paying striking workers $10 million a week to stay on the picket line.

It’s time for a mediator to step in and get Doug Dority and Steve Burd to listen to one another. Forget about the character assassinations and get this
settled. Too many people’s lives are on hold while each side tries to make a point.
Anderson – Moderator

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