Would you cross the line?

workers_skip.jpgThe strike authorization last weekend sent a message to the grocery store corporations, but it also alerted the public that a strike may be necessary to get Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons to offer their employees a fair contract.There were 50,000 people that signed pledge cards committing to shop elsewhere if the unions went on strike.

In the Long Beach Press-Telegram today in the regular feature “Speakout” they are focusing on the contract talks and they are inviting readers to weigh in on the following question:

If grocery workers strike again, would you honor or cross their picket lines? After the last strike was settled, in 2004, did you return to the market you patronized before the strike, or did you continue shopping elsewhere?

The Telegram will publish as many replies as they can fit in their Sunday edition.  If you have a second, email your response to: questions@presstelegram.com before 5pm on Thursday (be sure to include your name and city or they won’t be able to publish it!).

Here are a couple of reasons to support grocery workers if they are forced to strike or are locked out of their jobs:

Grocery workers haven’t had a raise since 2002, yet Ralphs, Vons, and Albertsons made over $8 billion in profits last year while their three CEOs raked in over $27 million.

Since 2004, the markets have stopped providing health insurance for more than half of their grocery workers. That’s more than 40,000 workers and 20,000 of their children who have no access to health care coverage.

The employers claim they can’t afford to offer a fair contract, but Stater Bros. and Gelson’s Markets — two regional employers that are dwarfed in size by the national chains — agreed to a fair contract with their workers before their contracts expired.

This is a problem facing millions of American workers who are trying to make ends meet while corporations are making billions of dollars in profits. It’s time to send a message to corporations like Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons that their workers deserve a fair wage and decent health care benefits. 

Remember that all responses need to be emailed to questions@presstelegram.com by 5pm tomorrow.