Contract negotiations for 120,000 West Coast grocery workers have begun. The major disagreement is over a two-tier wage and healthcare system. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, both sides are hoping to avoid a dispute like the 140-day strike and lockout in 2003/2004.
The two-tier system was a result of the last strike, and allows the large grocery conglomerates to pay a significantly lower salary to new workers than the salary that was paid to new workers 10 years ago.
The reason that the UFCW is fighting so hard for pay equity is because the employers can clearly afford it. Last year, Ralphs, Albertsons, and Vons, all earned an average of $3 Billion in profit.
All of the employees should have equal benefits and pay. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to help, there are a couple of ways: