Over the weekend The United Food and Commercial Workers Union voted to authorize a strike at Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons grocery chains, including those in Santa Clarita.
The UCFW 770 reported 90 percent approval by its 62,000 members to give union negotiators the authorization to strike if necessary.
At issue is the cost of health care.
“The supermarket corporations’ healthcare offer would significantly increase out of pocket costs for struggling families and bankrupt our health care benefits before the end of next year,” said President Rick Icaza, Local 770.
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Dr. Nancy Sidhu, Chief Economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation sees difficult times ahead if a walk-out is called like back in 2003.
“Our experience there with the last strike, is that it was a difficult time all around. It was difficult for the firms who experienced some loss in sales to other chains not involved. Difficult for the workers who lost a lot of income while they were out. Difficult for the shoppers who had to decide whether they were going to go to their old store or whether they were going to have to go try new ones,” said Sidhu.
Many have questioned the wisdom of a strike, especially during shaky economic times.
“I don’t think it will hurt the economy. I do think it could very well hurt the workers and the firms involved, said Sidhu.