About 600 UFCW members at seven El Super stores are entering a third year without a contract. Their patience and determination not to give up in the face of intense pressure has become almost legendary in union halls up and down the West Coast.
Their ongoing fight has taken the form of a region-wide boycott that has been a prime factor in the company’s economic downturn in recent months.
The once red-hot powerhouse that earned national attention with its massive expansion a few short years ago has seen profits plummet and in-store sales stagnate since the boycott began.
And it’s all over contract demands that amounts to pocket change for this massive conglomerate that recently saw its CEO added to Forbes Magazine’s list of billionaires.
“In addition to being treated with respect by supervisors, workers are asking for three days of paid sick leave,” said UFCW Local 324 Organizing Director Gilbert Davilla.
As one of the wealthiest corporations in the Western Hemisphere,. Bodega Latina can certainly afford the modest pay hikes and other benefit enhancements sought by its union workers.
But President Greg Conger believes that the company is willing to let its employees hang be a thread because they don’t want to give up any control they have over workers. It’s become a question of protecting their pride,” Conger said. El Super has already fired its big guns at the union, launching a campaign to have employees expel the union. That effort not only failed but actually resulted in one of the largest recertification victories for UFCW in the union’s history.
With workers loudly proclaiming their support for the union, the company next attempted to get rid of its critics by inventing trumped up reasons to fire them. The National Labor Relations Board found their behavior so egregious it ordered one employee returned to work with back pay immediately and ordered the company to stop engaging in unfair labor practices.
Their current strategy is to make a mockery of negotiations by bargaining with all the sincerity of a wolf who claims his top priority is the safety of the farm’s herd of sheep. But El Super’s workers have found a renewed purpose in the struggle and stand more determined than ever to win a fair contract from a company that appears equally committed to pretending they don’t exist.
Latest Campaign Updates
About the Dispute Southern California United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union locals 324, 770, 1428 and 1167 represent approximately 575 El Super workers employed at seven locations. These low-wage, predominantly Latino workers were covered under a collective...read more
El Super Ordered to Provide 549 Workers With Back Pay as Labor Dispute Continues El Super grocery store chain must pay 549 current and former employees a total of $363,000 in back pay as part of an ongoing labor dispute involving the company and workers at seven...read more
UFCW Locals called the second one-day strike against El Super today. As they did on the previous occasion, customers showed solidarity with worker by getting back into their cars and opting to shop elsewhere. The exact impact of the ongoing dispute is impossible to...read more
10/30/15 - -Orange County Register – Jennifer Muir Community and union leaders, local members of the clergy, as well as workers from El Super grocery stores across California, were among roughly 750 protesters dispersed by police in Paramount on Wednesday. The group...read more
EL SUPER WORKERS WIN BIG!!! FEDERAL COURT FINDS COMPANY MUST IMMEDIATELY REMEDY THEIR UNLAWFUL ACTIONS
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) secured a rare form of injunctive relief from “irreparable harm” caused by El Super’s unfair labor practices. The “10j” injunction signifies that a federal judge would agree that the company’s actions were so bad, an immediate...read more