Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 44 Posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2199 times:
So what's the deal with all of the folks still on strike here in SoCal? They've been on strike for over a month now and there's no end in sight. And now it's starting to get ugly: delivery drivers are refusing to cross the lines, ostensibly in an effort to "starve" Ralphs, Albertsons, and Vons.
At first, I supported these people for standing up to management taking a dim view of worker issues. God knows I deal with enough brain dead management in one form or another at my job.
But now let's take a quick view of how these people have basically shot themselves in their own feet:
We've been told that the strike is over health benefits, and having to pay "more" for them.
Ok, fine. But let's dig a little deeper.
First of all, EVERYONE has to pay something for their bennies. Here in CA (thanks to the Democrats, we not only pay for our own insurance, but about half of Mexico as well....no wonder my dad waited in the emergency room with stroke-like symptoms for nearly 11 hours before he was admitted...but that's a separate issue), insurance is very, VERY expensive. And it goes up, on average, about 30% a year. With that in mind, what exactly IS wrong for the employer to go to the employee and saying "hey...it's getting pretty expensive...can you chip in a bit?"
I, as a single male with no dependents pay $40 per month. And that's for some pretty damn good coverage. My deductibles and copays are quite reasonable. For sake of argument, let's say that one of the workers is a "breadwinner" for his wife. At the rate I'm paying, for two people, that comes to $80 per month.
Now I don't know what the actual numbers, but being that these people are all Union, let's suppose a Ralphs cashier pulls in $500 a week. I'm sure that it's more, but we'll go with $500.
They've been on strike for what? 6 weeks now? Since they are not getting paid during this strike, that means that said cashier has lost $3000 in pay.
Three thousand dollars. At $40 per month, that comes to $480 per year. 3000/480=6.25.
To avoid paying that "extra" $40, he has now lost OVER 6 YEARS OF BENEFITS.
That's all I can say.
I hope they are proud of themselves.
Judging by how quickly the three chains were able to round up enough Scabs to maintain operations, what does that tell you about the job market overall here in SoCal?
And they are whining about $40?
So what's going to happen?
I see 4 possible outcomes. Which do you think is most likely to happen? This strike cannot and will not last indefinitely?
1. The workers go back to work, accepting the same agreement they walked away from, rendering the strike utterly pointless.
2. Vons, et. al. caves in to their demands, and as a result, all of our foodbills go up by 40%.
3. Vons, et.al simply FIRES them a-la Ronald Reagan and the air traffic controlers.
4. Vons, et. al simply say that it is no longer worth the hassle, and simply close their doors. Non Union stores such as Stater Brothers and Wal-Mart prosper beyond their wildest dreams for about 6 months when a bunch of new non-Union chains spring up from the ashes of a now defunct Ralphs, Albertsons, and Vons.
Srbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2176 times:
I think Kroger will close all of the Ralphs and reopen them as Kroger stores. Kroger is not stupid enough to let these unions dictate their business to them, so they'll fold the Ralphs chain just so they can dump the contracts and reopen them as Kroger stores, and make those shops non-union.
Goingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2156 times:
Here in Kansas City, Safeway operated stores under the name of "Food Barn". The employees struck, so they closed the stores. Non union stores opened in their place, although the strikers, in their infinite wisdom (while the stores were still Food Barns) scattered nails throughout the parking lot, puncturing the tires of shoppers who continued to shop there. I don't think those folks had much sympathy for the strikers as they sat in the tire shops getting tires repaired or replaced.
Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 44
Reply 7, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2124 times:
Then maybe you can explain to me why, in the emergency room, I saw, over and over, Latin (presumably Mexican) "families", consisting of a man holding a toddler, a woman who couldn't be a day older than 20, pregnant, and pushing a stroller conating a baby that I would assume to be about 10 months old, and not able to speak a word of Inglés waving a card in the air yelling "¡Yo tiene Medical! ¡Yo tiene Medical!"
And meanwhile, my dad, who is a UNITED STATES CITIZEN and PAID FOR HIS OWN INSURANCE had to wait for eleven fucking hours in the emergency room.
Av8rPHX From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 713 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2121 times:
I have a friend in San Diego who works at one of the striking stores... and is a union member. She told me that the union is paying part time employees $200 a week for striking and $300 a week for full time employees. I havent been in Cali for a few months, but I thought they had given up the whole strike bs after the fires...
N6376m From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2119 times:
Can someone confirm this for me. When the strike started, I thought I read an article in USToday or the WSJ saying that the average wage for these clerks was $17.50/hr. Is this correct? If not what's the correct number (please cite your source).
If the $17.50 is correct, we're taking about grocery store clerks earning $35,000 per year. Seems like a pretty good living. By the way, what's the starting wage for a school teacher in California?
777YYC From Canada, joined May 2000, 744 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2112 times:
They are making $17.50 an hour, and they want to keep it that way. If those stores are going to compete with the $8.50 the average Wal-Mart employee makes, wages and benefits have to be cut. That's what the problem is.
I'm actually a produce clerk myself at the moment.
Marcus From Mexico, joined Apr 2001, 1825 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2106 times:
Because they contribute more than what they take.......plain and simple.
But getting back to the topic, a couple of weeks ago I saw the SDPD arrest a man outside a VONS supermarket for harrasing and yelling at people going in to shop.......it did not escalate in to anything more serious but I did see some people get back in their cars without going in to the store.
[Edited 2003-11-26 19:24:38]
Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
Seb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 12668 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2082 times:
There is talk of Safeway (Vons) going on strike as well here in the Northwest.
This is what irritates me about unions: I am not union. I make $7.82 and recieve no benefits and make too much for state assistance. Cahsiers at supermarkets make $12 and up, have benefits and go on strike over the fact their employer needs a little help paying for their benefits.
If that is the case, pay me $12 an hour to be a cashier, and I will find my own health insurance. And I will be non-union.
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 74
Reply 17, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2026 times:
You know what's really lame about these strikers?
They are up here in front of a lot of the Safeways (Vons) picketing. The workers up here don't have any disputes with their contract. It isn't up until next spring.
Yet the ones from SoCal are up here picketing driving thousands of customers away. People in this city are very sympathetic to labor unions and when they see picketers, they will turn away.
The Safeway I shop at most frequently at any given time will have 22 of 25 checkout lanes open because the place is always crowded. Now only about 5 out of the 25 check out lanes will be open. The place is empty, even at rush hour.
I have friends that work there. Some of them were used to working up to 55 hours a week. That's 15 hours of over-time. Now most of there hours have been cut to 24 hours a week. That's a HUGE loss to there fellow union workers up here in the Bay Area.