Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Today in the California grocery strike...
My guess is that the companies won't submit to binding arbitration. They want to eliminate health care benefits, and an arbitrator would be likely to split the difference or even favor the status quo. Especially since the companies were all profitable under the previous agreement and instigated a labor dispute anyway.
A second story today explored the possibility that the strike may grow. 5000 grocery workers at 101 southern California Food-4-Less stores may join the strike when their contract expires at the end of February. Union officials seem to favor extending the current contract, but company officials haven't yet begun negotiations. link
Since Food-4-Less is already a part of the mutual aid pact between area grocers, and those grocers locked out workers last October in an effort to win concessions, it seems unlikely that Food-4-Less will agree to extend the contract.
Lastly, The Guardian has an admirably biased story today. The best part is their attempt to acheive balance by eliciting the opinion of a representative conservative: "'The power of unions to coerce unearned benefits for their workers while crippling employers is unjust,' wrote Elan Journo of the Ayn Rand Institute and Professor Brian Simpson in the Los Angeles Times. They called for the repeal of the national labour relations act which prevents employers from sacking striking workers." link
Have you donated to the Grocery Worker Strike Fund?