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Santa Barbara County Grocery Workers Ask Community to Boycott Stores

More than 50,000 grocery workers in Southern California are asking consumers to boycott Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons.

Grocery employees have worked with expired contracts since March. They recently rallied in front of Ralphs Supermarket in Downtown Santa Barbara and issued a letter to the store manager.

Since then, union representatives and supermarket chain owners have not reached a compromise.

“Our contract expired over four months ago and our efforts to reach a fair compromise with the corporate owners of Ralphs, Vons, and Albertsons have been rejected,” said Rick Icaza, president of the largest grocery worker union local in the United States, local 770.

“Our members are living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to make ends meet. They can’t wait any longer for fair treatment from their employers.”

Grocery workers are asking consumers to join them in a boycott until the owners of Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons finalize a new contract with employees.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union have given the owners an August 8th deadline to reach the deal or grocery workers will call a strike.

Kendra Doyel, the vice president of public relations for Ralphs Grocery Company issued the following statement:

“We continue to meet with union leadership to reach an agreement on a contract for our associates, and we have additional dates set to meet in August. We have proposed pay increase, a secure pension and affordable health care for our associates. For example, for the last 5 years, Ralphs associates have paid $15 a week for a full family health care coverage compared to a national average of $95 per week. The boycotts the union is organizing won’t help us get closer to an agreement. We remain committed to finding solutions that will be good for our associates and keep Ralphs competitive in the market.”

Carlos Illingworth, the Southern California Director of Communications and Government Affairs for Albertsons and Vons issued the following statement:

“During these negotiations, we are dealingw ith several different complex legal and contractual issues. We will work through these issues as we continue to negotiate an agreement that is fair to our employees, good for our customers and allows our company to remain competitive.”

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