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October 31, 2003

Solidarity in Action

The AFL-CIO announced a new strike fund for striking and locked out grocery workers in Southern California, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri.

The fund, called "Hold the Line for America’s Health Care," will be used to aid workers facing emergency financial situations, such as evictions or defaulting on mortgages. This will be on top of the $200 to $300 a week provided by the United Food and Commercial Workers union in the grocery industry.

Also at the strike fund announcement endorsing the grocery strike effort to preserve health care for its members were Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; Vicky Lovell, study director of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, Oscar Sanchez, executive director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Angela Hooton, legislative staff attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Juliet Huang, secretary of the D.C. Chapter of the Asian-Pacific American Labor Alliance.

The union is also pointing out that grocery stores blaming health care for their woes are lying to investors. The AFL-CIO released a report, Squeezing Safeway Workers Won’t Solve the Problem, during a conference call it co-sponsored with J.P. Morgan and Smith Barney Citigroup investment firms for Safeway analysts and investors. The report points to deeper underlying causes for Safeway’s financial woes than health care costs, including poor investments that are destroying Safeway's competitiveness in southern California.

If you want to take action, here's more info on how to email corporate executives to settle the strike/lockout.

Posted by Nathan at October 31, 2003 10:00 AM