Teamsters Refuse to Deliver to SoCal Chains

Discussion
Nov 25, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


The other shoe has dropped in the lockout/strike of grocery workers in southern California as the Teamsters union ordered its drivers to stop making deliveries to the supermarket
chains involved in the dispute.


Jim Santangelo, president of Teamsters Joint Council 42 made clear his union’s support for the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). “We either end this thing together or
we die together,” he said.


The Teamsters action will essentially end deliveries to 10 distribution centers in Southern and Central California until the UFCW and chains reach a labor agreement.


At least one of the chains reacted to the Teamsters announcement with a big so what.


“We’re in good shape,” Sandra Calderon of Safeway-owned Vons told the LA Times. “It couldn’t have come at a better time for us. Most people have done their holiday shopping
already. The days after Thanksgiving are some of the slowest days traditionally. We now have a good two to three days to get back to speed, and we really feel that we’ll be there.”


Burt Flickinger, a retail industry consultant with Strategic Resource Group disagrees with Ms. Calderon’s assessment.


“This is an absolute crippler for the supermarket chains,” he said. “It raises the stakes and ensures that between the three chains, they’ll lose over half a billion dollars
collectively between October and November from the strike.”


Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on the latest going on in the Southern California grocery workers lockout/strike?


Organized labor has obviously decided that this is where it draws the line in the sand. The Teamsters has said it will expand its DC shipping embargo should
their current action not gain results.


The UFCW has also announced it is going to begin picketing Safeway stores in the Washington, D.C. area. Obviously, the unions are hoping Steve Burd will
be eating something other than turkey this Thanksgiving.
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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