SoCal Teamsters Gear Up For Grocery Contracts

Grocery Teamsters in Southern California are gearing up for high-stakes contract negotiations.

Southern California is one of the nation’s largest grocery markets. Mega-employers Albertsons, Kroger, and Stater Brothers negotiate their contracts with seven locals in pattern bargaining.

Grocery contracts covering approximately 8,000 Teamsters in Southern California will expire in September next year.

These negotiations also set the terms for contracts that will be negotiated the following year for Southern California Teamsters at Gelsons and UNFI.

Rank-and-file members were included on the Southern California Grocery bargaining committee for the first time in 2020.

“Member action and participation won us our best deal yet: a $2 wage increase in year one and the highest pension increases we’ve ever won. Plus, we maintained our medical benefits and won language improvements,” said Frank Halstead, steward at Ralphs in Los Angeles Local 572 and a member of the 2020 negotiating committee.

“This time, we need to increase member involvement across the board to win the contract improvements we need,” Halstead said.

This spring, 30 grocery Teamsters came together for an educational workshop on how to build a strong member-driven contract campaign. They discussed some of the key issues across different locals and barns.

“We’ve seen record inflation over the past three years,” said Albertsons Steward Mike Holguin of Local 952. “We need to win COLA raises in the next contract to make sure we’re protected if inflation keeps rising.”

Other top issues discussed included controls on mandatory overtime, MLK Day as a paid holiday, better dental coverage, pension increases, and protections from automation and subcontracting.

A strong contract campaign for Southern California Grocery Teamsters will take member-to-member networking across locals, building unity around top issues, and union actions to organize a credible strike threat.

“If we stick together in solidarity, we can win the raises, benefits, language that protects us, and a better work environment,” said Jesus Jurado, Local 630 UNFI Teamster.

GET INVOLVED: Contact TDU to become a part of the network of grocery Teamsters who are organizing to win a strong contract.

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