Healthcare on the Line in Grocery Talks

May 9, 2007: The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) is negotiating new contracts that cover 65,000 grocery workers at Albertsons, Vons, and Ralphs in southern California.

The grocery chains are gearing up for a possible strike, and Teamsters need to be ready to support the clerks.

Healthcare is the big issue in the negotiations. The UFCW lost a 141-day strike against the grocery chains in 2004, and the union agreed to inferior healthcare coverage for new hires to end the strike. Under the current agreement, only 29 percent of new hires are eligible for coverage—and only seven percent of new hires actually get covered.

“We need to stick together with our UFCW brothers and sisters,” said Frank Halstead, a Ralphs warehouse worker in Teamster Local 572. “If the chains get away with more healthcare cuts, it’s only a matter of time before they come after our Teamster benefits.”

The chains have formed a mutual-defense pact. If the union strikes at one of the chains, the other two chains will lock out UFCW members within 48 hours.
“The companies are united. We should be too,” Halstead said. “We have to stand up and say we won’t cross UFCW picket lines. Our future is on the line.”

Get Advice Join TDU Donate

Recent News

The New Yorker Covers Our Historic Fight at UPS

UPS wants the public to think that Teamsters are overpaid and greedy. But UPS Teamsters got a chance to speak out on why we’re fed up and ready to strike if we have to in a big story in the New Yorker called, “UPS and the Package Wars.” The magazine spoke to shop steward Antoine Andrews and other TDU members and follows contract campaign activities in Local 804, to get a glimpse at the momentum Teamsters are building at UPS. Read it online or the pdf version.

Register for TDU’s Contract Enforcement Workshops

Register for TDU's latest online workshops to get the tools to enforce your contract, deal with difficult supervisors on the shop floor and in the office, and beat unfair discipline. Take one training or the whole series. Our online workshops are free, but advance registration is required.

View More News Posts