Raley's Employees Take to Picket Line

, Posted: Sun, November 4 2012 at 9:49 PM, Updated: Mon, November 5 2012 at 1:12 AM

Holding signs, and standing on the street.

"A strike is in effect, " said Jacques Loveall in a recorded message on the Union's hotline. Loveall is the Union President for UFCW Local 8 - Golden State.

According to at statement on the union's hotline, the strike comes after 15 months of negotiations.

"For 15 months, Raley's has tried to dictate a laundry list of takeaways including devastating members and retiree health care and nothing has changed, " said Loveall.

But a spokesman with Raley's, a California company based in Sacramento, says the disagreement centers on wages.

"What our contract offer does is it freezes pay increases for two years and it eliminates premium pay that's paid for working on holidays and Sundays, " said John Segale, the spokesman for Raley's.

He says the move is necessary since over the last year, 30% of their stores have lost money.

 "The retail environment has become incredibly competitive, we're dealing with hundreds of non-union stores throughout northern California and Nevada. We have got to lower our operating costs so we can become more competitive, " said Segale.

But union members say they don't see it that way.

"Clearly their goal was to [...] extend a contract offer that erases decades of progress for grocery workers, " said Loveall in the hotline recording.

Until an agreement can be reached, countless employees throughout northern California will continue to pick up signs and stand the picket line.

Meantime, Segale said stores are fully stocked and remain open to customers. He said the same changes have already been put in place for non-union stores.R

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