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February 27, 2004

Settlement of CA Grocery Strike

The strike in California's grocery stores looks to be over and the results look mixed, as is usually true after such a long battle.

Details are sketchy, but here is the UFCW statement on the outcome. I like this tribute to the strikers:

The men and women on the picket lines are genuine heroes. Their sacrifice for affordable family health care has motivated and activated workers across the nation. I am honored to be part of their union, and I am humbled as well as inspired by their dedication, strength and selflessness.

These members will never be forgotten. They will always be honored and respected. We owe them a debt of gratitude. They have sent a message to employers everywhere that attempts to eliminate health care benefits will come at a high price. Workers will not sit idle as their families are denied health care protection. Workers will stand united and fight for health care.

These particular workers, whatever the settlement, are unlikely to recoup the economic losses from striking for so many months, but by inflicting massive economic costs of the grocery chains, they will deter other unionized employers from locking out workers and trying to gut health care benefits.

As this article notes at the end:

By some analyst estimates, the strike cost the grocery chains between $1.5 billion and $2.5 billion in lost revenue. Safeway and Kroger each reported net losses exceeding $100 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31.
Other employers will have to look at the concessions wrested from the union workers and wonder if its worth the cost to their bottom line.

Posted by Nathan at February 27, 2004 08:54 AM